ECP seeks complete biometric data of voters ahead of 2018 polls

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–100 million registered voters expected in 2018

LAHORE: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday has written a letter to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) chairman, seeking the record of all the voters whose biometric data is missing with the NADRA.

The letter, available with Pakistan Today, urges NADRA to provide district, constituency, tehsil and census block-wise statistics of all the voters present in the Computerised Electoral Rolls System (CERS) whose biometrics, fingerprints and photographs are not available with the NADRA.

 

The ECP had earlier sought the biometric record of all the voters that fall in NA-120 ahead of the by-poll but NADRA was not able to provide the biometric data of over 29,000 voters of the constituency. The reasons cited by NADRA for not providing the data were that fingerprints of 27121 voters were not available as their Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) were issued before the induction of biometric machines, while 2271 voters were the holders of National Identity Cards for Overseas Pakistan (NICOP) and their biometric data was also missing from the record of NADRA.

It is worth mentioning here that there were 57,265 registered voters in 39 polling stations of NA-120 where BVMs were used on the polling day. Only 22,181 votes were cast due to the low turnout in these 39 polling stations and BVMs could only recognize 19,520 voters.

There were 321,786 registered voters in NA-120 that consists of mostly urban and educated population and the non-verification through BVMs may further decrease if these machines are applied in the rural constituency where the literacy rate is quite low. 100 Biometric Verification Machines (BVMs) installed at 39 polling station during the NA-120 by-polls had failed to recognise fingerprints of over 12 per cent of voters

The candidate of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) from NA-120, Dr Yasmin Rashid, had raised the issue of 29,000 unverified voters throughout her election campaign and she had also approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) in this regard.

The ECP also referred to Dr Yasmin’s case pending in the LHC, saying that the credibility of voters’ list is at stake due to the objections raised by Dr Yasmin Rashid and directed the NADRA to complete the biometric data of all the voters ahead of the general elections of 2018.