NA-19 by-polls: ECP considering use of biometric machines

Move comes on the directions of parliamentary body on electoral reforms


Our Correspondent July 16, 2015
Move comes on the directions of parliamentary body on electoral reforms. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Under the directions of parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, election authorities are considering using biometric machines at a few polling stations in NA-19 (Haripur) where by-polls are scheduled on August 16.

If the idea materialises, NA-19 will be the first constituency where biometric system will be used as a pilot project in the election history of the country.

“No final decision has been taken yet, however, the parliamentary committee has been pressing the commission to use modern technology as an experiment,” an official of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.

Read: NA-19, Haripur: Biometric system in the offing for by-polls

Though, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had made a demand to use biometric machines during the local government (LG) elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), the election authorities resisted the move citing technical and administrative reasons. The LG polls in the province were held on May 30 through the conventional manual system.

Now the demand has come from a bipartisan parliamentary panel which is working on legislative draft to improve the election system in the country. The panel has representation from all the political stakeholders in parliament and demand from such a body will be difficult for the ECP to resist.

Read: No new law Islamabad: LG polls put off ‘indefinitely’

According to a member of the parliamentary panel on electoral reforms, the committee had demanded to use biometric machines in the recently held by-polls for a Punjab Assembly seat. The elections were held in PP-100 Gujranwala in June. The ECP again skipped the proposal citing technical difficulties and paucity of time.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2015.

COMMENTS (7)

alpha | 5 years ago | Reply @zain: would you like to enlighten us , where in the world these machines are being used in the electoral process?USA , UK any European country? No.They use traditional ink and ballot paper.Even if they are being used somewhere ,their scope is limited and in most cases these implementations are in the testing phase.
Fawad khan | 5 years ago | Reply In this age of technology, when you use online systems for money transactions, how on can the ECP claim it cannot use bio metric system due to technical reasons? India has been doing that for 20 years now. ECP should be forced to use bio metric system or else they should resign and accept that they are incompetent.
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