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.