FAFEN report: Over 100% turnout in 49 polling stations

Published: May 14, 2013
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Data gathered by FAFEN observers at polling stations showed impossible voter turnout. PHOTO: AFP

Data gathered by FAFEN observers at polling stations showed impossible voter turnout. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

Among many anomalies on Election Day, there is one that stands out: There was more than 100% voter turnout in many polling stations for national and provincial constituencies across the country, according to the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).

The election watchdog called upon the ECP to release all polling statements of count (Form XIV) to the public on its website before certifying final results in any constituency.

Data gathered by FAFEN observers at polling stations showed impossible voter turnout greater than 100% in many polling stations.

According to the FAFEN report, the voter turnout was more than 100% in at least 49 polling stations out of 8,119 polling stations sampled by FAFEN across Pakistan, according to statements of the count delivered so far by observers.

FAFEN advised ECP not to include votes from these polling stations in calculations of constituency election results, and advised them to consider re-polling in these stations.

Of these 49 polling stations, at least 32 were in Punjab, 10 in Sindh, six in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and one in Balochistan. The polling stations with impossible voter turnout figures included 19 female polling stations, 16 male stations and 14 combined (male and female) stations.

Voter turnout is calculated on the basis of registered voters for each polling station as given on the ECP website. Polling stations included in the analysis are only those in which presiding officers accurately calculated the total number of ballots as recorded on the statement of the count (Form XIV).

FAFEN has recommended since 2008 that the ECP should not consider the results from any polling station where more ballots are cast than the number of registered voters, and should investigate highly improbable cases of voter turnout, such as those greater than 80%.   The network further stated that the best practice for election transparency requires that polling station ballot counts and vote counts should be posted as quickly as possible on the ECP website, both as scans of the original forms and in data tables that can be scrutinised.

This information was made public by the ECP for the first time many months after the 2008 elections, based on persistent FAFEN advocacy.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • Yousuf Hussain
    May 14, 2013 - 9:10AM

    out of some 8000+ polling stations, that accounts for almost 0.6%. Quite a large number. No?Recommend

  • Ihsanullah Bangash
    May 14, 2013 - 9:36AM

    Before this gets out of proportion and out of context, lets not forget the following:
    Total polling stations in Pakistan = 69,801
    Number of Stations monitored by FAFEN = 8,119 (12%)
    Number of Stations where more than 100% votes cast = 49 (0.6% of 8,119 and 0.07% of total polling stations)
    Is this planned, massive rigging that PTI and some news channels would like to believe?
    Its amazing that suddenly nothing less than perfection is being expected from a broken administrative machinery. Test of PTI’s leadership!

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  • Noman Ansari
    May 14, 2013 - 9:58AM

    If this isn’t evidence I don’t know what is. Consider is from a small sample. Consider how many boxes were just thrown out and replaced so that voter turnout would remain 60%. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

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  • uet
    May 14, 2013 - 10:16AM

    In 2008 elections it was 700/8000, so actually quite a improvement.

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  • Anoni
    May 14, 2013 - 10:51AM

    hahaha , They forgot to count the GINI factor :P

    Gini’s also voted. ECP should register them too :)

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  • Wajahat
    May 14, 2013 - 10:52AM

    @Yousuf Hussain:
    Well, before applying law of proportions, focus on the problem statement. It says 49 had more than 100% turnout i.e. rigging was of tremendous levels. What about polling stations with 80% + turnout – is that normal for our country ? (even taking into account the urban middle class who came out big numbers?)

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  • Khan
    May 14, 2013 - 10:54AM

    180,000 votes polled in roughly 8 – 9 hours in one constituency and then counted and reported to media in couple of hours, definitely deserve a spot in Guinness Book of World Record!! Proud of my country..

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  • truth
    May 14, 2013 - 10:59AM

    @Ihsanullah Bangash:
    I think you need to extrapolate…..its likely to be more polling stations…this was just the stations they sampled…and frankly why should there be any irregularity at all!

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  • Noman Ansari
    May 14, 2013 - 11:18AM

    @Ihsanullah Bangash: what about polling stations where results were doctored more carefully.

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  • Alee
    May 14, 2013 - 12:22PM

    This is just one aspect of rigging. What about armed forcefull voting, threats and planned delays?>

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  • MA
    May 14, 2013 - 12:23PM

    @Khan

    Lets say we have seen 200,000 votes in a constituency, there are normally 200+ polling stations in an average constituency, if you divide 200,000 by 200. It comes out to be 1000 votes per polling station. This should not be a surprise

    P.s. if this report provided some facts about which constituencies have been found indulged in ARITHMETIC ERRORs this article could have been a worth

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  • Observer
    May 14, 2013 - 12:24PM

    @Ihsanullah Bangash:
    You may be happy to live with sub standard polling but the rest of us are not!
    As Truth says, why should there be any irregularity at all?

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  • bandgi
    May 14, 2013 - 12:44PM

    ECP must disqualify the candidate who used the bogus votes for winning…….In Politics everyone look to winners…….CJ must take action against rigging……………………

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  • Bayzaaro
    May 14, 2013 - 12:44PM

    We are an extremist nation, either its 35% or 235%.

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  • Yousuf
    May 14, 2013 - 1:05PM

    Let’s not convert “what should’ve” and what “shouldn’t have” into facts. A proper way for aggrieved parties is to collect the evidence and present to ECP and the courts for recounts or re-polls which I believe hasn’t been formally filed till date. Otherwise this would all be a storm in a teacup.

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  • Humayun
    May 14, 2013 - 1:16PM

    Wow

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  • May 14, 2013 - 1:42PM

    100%+ turn out covers most of the constituencies where PTI won.

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  • AAA
    May 14, 2013 - 1:59PM

    To all those who r looking at the absolute 0.06%….well for your information the concept of materiality is not applicable to fraud…every time when there is an evidence of fraud, test need to increase by alot…may be they should now go up to test 30,000 stations if they want to give the opinion of free and fair…

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  • AAA
    May 14, 2013 - 1:59PM

    To all those who r looking at the absolute 0.06%….well for your information the concept of materiality is not applicable to fraud…every time when there is an evidence of fraud, test need to increase by alot…may be they should now go up to test 30,000 stations if they want to give the opinion of free and fair…

    Recommend

  • Now or Never
    May 14, 2013 - 2:21PM

    I have to admit I was a little frustrated by how it appeared residents in Punjab province had decided to support PMLN en masse. I realise now, they had not….the ECP needs to move very fast and very transparently to address these allegations of wide spread rigging…
    If this happened this time, it will happen again, and the Government in power will simply not be representative. This was a golden opportunity to put to bed for ever the politics of patronage and coercion….I hope it has not been bungled…

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  • FXF
    May 14, 2013 - 3:21PM

    Why don’t E.C.P entered a serial no no ballot papers.Is there is no one person who ask him that in this way we can stop rigging.

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  • Nida Ali
    May 14, 2013 - 3:27PM

    Why PTI trolls are completely silent about rigging in the polling stations (e.g., NA-71) where PTI won?? Selective application of justice???
    Tahirul Qadri had predicted a few weeks ago that these people will be crying about rigging on the eve of 11th May.

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  • drebar
    May 14, 2013 - 3:40PM

    @Ihsanullah Bangash: amazing maths! according to your calculations, only 0.07% of total polling stations recorded more than 100% votes casted. this is a totally wrong result! Because, out of the 8,119 polling stations that were monitored by FAFEN, 49 (0.6% of 8,119) reported rigging. It gives us a rough estimate that overall 0.6% of the entire polling stations had some kind of rigging. So, when we know that the total number of polling stations were 69,801, it means the number of rigged polling stations actually roughly amount to 419 (69,801 x 0.6%).

    Moreover, the amount of massive rigging can be gauged if we take into account other factors: all polling stations where polling count exceeded 80%, and all the coercion and threatening that are a regular part of our electoral process, and the murky practices of far-flung polling stations where no member of international/local press could get it covered, and other mismanagement by ECP.

    In my view, it’s more a test of PMLN’s leadership than PTI’s.

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  • doom
    May 14, 2013 - 4:10PM

    Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

    These are the five stages of grief in case anyone was wondering.

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  • Usman
    May 14, 2013 - 4:33PM

    @Ihsanullah Bangash: Have you ever taken a statistical analysis course?! A random sample of 12% is a very good basis for extrapolation! Statistically, the rate will be on par with what you would get if you reviewed every polling location.

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  • Tasneem
    May 14, 2013 - 5:56PM

    I would say ECP should took into notice for all the polling stations where the turn over was more than 80 % no matter whoever won in that region. Ballot papers would be taken out from bags and thumb stamps should be matched against Nadra Database.

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  • Khair Khaw
    May 14, 2013 - 6:25PM

    Well, does it not reflect on our honesty? Wouldn’t more than half of the people cheat if they had an opportunity and if they could get by? So why is this surprising?

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  • Mirza
    May 14, 2013 - 8:00PM

    This is not rigging this is what we call burkat (blessings) in Pakistan. We Pakistanis are highly religious and therefore blessed.

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  • Karachite
    May 14, 2013 - 9:36PM

    “According to the FAFEN report, the voter turnout was more than 100% in at least 49 polling stations out of 8,119 polling stations sampled by FAFEN across Pakistan, according to statements of the count delivered so far by observers……..

    ……Of these 49 polling stations, at least 32 were in Punjab, 10 in Sindh, six in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and one in Balochistan.”

    and yet they say rigging took place only in karachi.

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  • Ahmed
    May 14, 2013 - 10:37PM

    @Ihsanullah Bangash:

    You are really bad at maths/ statistics dude. The sample was 800+ out of which 49 were over 100%. so not accounting for sampling error(look it up, its a big value) the math suggest that over 416 out of 69K were over 100%. you cant divide 49 by 69K. 69K wasnt the sample it was 8K. Sampling error makes it even bigger

    Now look at it this way. This is for over 100%. If the voter turnout was around 60% , so any no above 60% would be “rigged”. 6 out of 10 came, there were 8 out of 10 votes. 2 bogus.That is still rigging. We are not taking that no into account. Take that into account and you get the real (much much higher) value. Only cases where RO were extremely lousy on math to not ensure that they dont cross the cent percent marks are being considered here. Your conclusion shows the abysmal state of our education.

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  • Aqeel
    May 15, 2013 - 6:33PM

    People always how it is possible to cast 180000 in 9 hours but ithink it is possible becuase there is not a single box 180T vote there are aprox 1200 booth for one consicquency imran also got 106t+ votes @Khan:

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  • gp65
    May 15, 2013 - 8:59PM

    @Noman Ansari: “If this isn’t evidence I don’t know what is.”

    Unsure if you have seen this. http://beta.dawn.com/news/1011407/fafen-regrets-inaccuracies-in-turnout-claim

    Undoubtedly elections weren not perfect. 11 million fewer women voters registered. Arbitrary and inconsistent 62/53 based screening of candidates, many villages not allowing even registered women voters to vote, the abysmal vioter turnout in Balochistan, the selective violence that targetted only a few parties leading to the election are just some of the issues. But relying on flawed FAFEN data which also applied to less than 0.2% of polling stations monitored to call into question the results of the elecion is a bit irresponsible.

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  • Sohail Iqbal
    May 16, 2013 - 8:16PM

    How GEO ARY can break results at 4:55PM, before closing even time extended.Many results shown before 5:30 such as Farooq Satar securing 1500 votes in poling staion is it possible to count in 20 mints. Will ECP take some action for media.

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