Unable to vote: Loopholes in the system

THERE has been justifiable anger amongst progressive quarters over the fact that in some areas women were prevented from voting. Enfranchisement has to be universal, with no caveats. This challenge takes on even greater importance when it is considered that these women were not the only ones unable to vote on Saturday. An as yet uncounted number of people could not vote because they had applied for the renewal of their CNICs, and the expired cards had been kept as per procedure by Nadra. The authorities did notice, and a few days before the polls the ECP announced that ballots could be cast on expired CNICs, while Nadra said that the cards of people applying between then and May 11 would not be confiscated. But it was already too late for some. Then, there were the extra policemen sent to Islamabad for election duty. Over 8,000 of them did not vote because they were registered in their areas of residence, and their department failed to ensure postal balloting. Many of them did not know about this right while others could not meet the postal ballot deadline because of their work schedule — wherever the fault lay, they did not vote. Similar was the case with voters registered in cities other than where they now reside. While much of the onus lies on the citizens themselves for not bothering to change the details of where they were registered, in many cases they tried but failed. In any case, a strong public awareness campaign and greater effort on part of the authorities would have helped.

Universal enfranchisement is an on-going exercise and in general the ECP has not done badly at all in this election. But loopholes remain, and it is hoped that the ECP, Nadra and other departments involved in the electioneering process continue to work on them. As the turnout in these elections shows, people do believe in the electoral process. The state must do its bit by continuing to improve the system.

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Comments (2) Closed

Javaid Bashir
May 13, 2013 02:49pm
There has been many loopholes in the electoral process that needs to be plugged at the earliest. I was unable to vote , despite my best efforts. My case is bit strange, though nootv difficult to understand. I am a dual nationality holder m and I have cast vote on previous occasions, without let and hindrance. I have been registered as vote, but this time I was not able to locate the entry of Vite in the lists of my residential area, This time I wanted to vite badly to change the things for the better. The hindrance came from NADRA, She has not plugged in POC card numbers, thus denying us the ability to vote. This amounts to deprivation of a basic right of the citizens fr no fault of their's I nope all these things will be looked into and voters be franchised next time around. JAVAID BASHIR LAHORE
May 13, 2013 06:07pm
Election results were manipulated. Through out talk shows on all the TV channels all the analysts and experts were of the unanimous opinion that if there is big turn out of voters around 60% the benefit will certainly go to new emerging political party i.e. PTI. There was no reason for anti vote against PTI. Youth contributed most of the increased vote cast. This is an established political law. There is certainly some thing seriously fishy. It is up to PTI to investigate in details how tables were turned against it. Election Commission of Pakistan was supposed to install cameras in all the polling booth. Were cameras installed and were working. Footage of all the cameras need to be examined carefully .