ISLAMABAD: In line with the new chief election commissioner’s promise of free and fair elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday published fresh electoral rolls compiled on the basis of computerised national identity cards.
"Today is a significant day. The printing of new electoral rolls marks the commencement of the election process. Registration of new voters will continue till the schedule for the polls is announced," Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim said at a news conference.
The lists are available in soft and hard copies throughout the country and can be viewed on the ECP website as well as the commission’s district offices.
The new list released by ECP contains 84.36 million registered voters. The updated rolls will be used for all forthcoming polls as under the law once new lists have been published the older ones are declared redundant.
The publication of voters’ lists will minimise the chance of multiple entries. NADRA had maintained earlier that 37% of the entries in the rolls compiled for the 2008 general elections were either duplicates or fake.
Though Fakhruddin G Ebrahim has ruled out the chances of fake and multiple entries in the new electoral lists, he said there might be an issue in the change of addresses of certain voters.
Ebrahim said some voters have been registered on the basis of permanent addresses stated on their NICs, but have changed their residence and want to vote from where they are currently residing.
He has asked such voters to approach ECP’s district offices and get their addresses updated.
Election Commission Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan said 4 million overseas Pakistanis have also been given the right to vote. He, however, said the mode through which they will cast their votes has not been determined yet, adding that postal ballot was the only viable option, but requires due legislation.
According to the break-up, the list has a total of 47.77 million males and 36.59 million females.
Punjab has the most number of voters with 57% of the total number registered from the province. Of the 48.3 million voters in Punjab, 27.29 million are males while 21.01 million are females.
Sindh has a total of 18.42 million voters, of which 10.21 million are males and 8.21 million are females.
Of the 12 million registered voters in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 6.9 million are males while 5.1 million are females.
Balochistan, at 3.27 million, has the least number of registered voters. The province has 1.88 million male voters while 1.39 million are females.
The federal capital has a total of 325,795 males and 279,007 females registered in the list.
The number of voters, however, has not increased in all the provinces. While Punjab and K-P registered an increase of 3.66 million and 1.27 million, respectively, the number of voters in Sindh has declined by 1.1 million and in Balochistan by 1.02 million.