Despite constituting 52% of the country’s population, the number of female registered voters is once again far less than men in the new computerised electoral rolls, according to a report provided by the acting chief election commissioner (CEC).
The total number of male registered voters is 47.7 million compared to the 36.5 million female voters in the newly-compiled computerised electoral rolls which will be made public by the end of this month.
This gender schism is consistent in all four provinces and regions including the federal capital where literacy rate is considered relatively higher.
Acting CEC Justice Shakirullah Jan in a detailed interaction with the media on Sunday shared details of his achievements during the last four months when he served as the acting commissioner. Justice Jan is senior-most judge of the Supreme Court and was appointed the acting commissioner in March this year when Justice (retd) Hamid Ali Khan vacated the post.
The acting CEC revealed that NADRA on average is issuing around 17,000 national identity cards (NIC) daily — essentially rendering thousands of people, mostly youth who attain the age of 18, eligible voters every day.
He said NADRA has registered around 1.5 million new voters, mostly youth, from January to June this year and the process of registration will continue till the election schedule is announced.
According to the data shared by acting CEC, of the total 3.3 million registered voters of Balochistan, 1.9 million are male and 1.4 million female. In FATA there are a total of 1.6 million registered voters in the new electoral list of which 1.1 million are male and 0.55 million are female voters.
Of the total 604,802 registered voters in Islamabad, 325,795 million are male and 279,007 million female. In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, out of the total 12 million voters, 6.9 million are male while 5.1 million are female.
Among Punjab’s 48.3 million registered voters, 27.2 million are male while 21 million are female. In Sindh, out of the total 18.4 million registered voters, 10.2 million are male and 8.2 million female.
Justice Jan gave assurances that attempts have been made to make the electoral rolls “as authentic as possible” and that “one-person one-vote” has been ensured that will exclude chances of multiple votes. However, he cautioned that claims of 100% error-free electoral rolls will be “far from reality”.
He told the media that after compiling all the data of the new electoral rolls, NADRA has started printing the voters’ list from July 12 and according to them the printing process will be completed by July 24 after which final lists will be dispatched to the respective provinces.
Acting CEC Justice Shakirullah Jan said that thousands of forms with fake entries were identified during the process. These complaints have mainly come from Kachhi, Killa Abdullah, Loralai districts of Balochistan and cases have been registered against 20 offenders.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2012.