The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has explained what would count as a valid or an invalid vote when the country goes to the polls on Wednesday, DawnNewsTV reported.
In a letter addressed to presiding officers, the ECP listed down the requirements that a ballot paper would have to meet in order to be included in the counting process.
The watchdog, in its instructions, said that a ballot paper will be termed invalid if:
it's missing the official code mark or assistant presiding officer's signature
it's missing the ECP's watermark
it's missing the official nine-matrix seal
it has a paper or anything else attached to it
it has stamps on more than one candidate's election symbols
it appears equally in more than one candidates' boxes
The ECP, however, added that a stamp which appears in multiple boxes but a prominent portion of which is in favour of a particular candidate, will be counted as a valid vote.
Multiple stamps on the symbol of a particular candidate, as well as stamps on both the symbol and the name of a candidate will also be counted as valid votes, the ECP explained.
Last week, the ECP released a notification informing voters, polling staff and political parties of actions that would constitute as crimes on election day and would fall under the jurisdiction of the district returning officers.
Asking a voter who they voted for, spoiling ballot papers or stamps in any way, taking a picture of the ballot paper are some of the actions that would land the offender in jail for upto three months, result in fines upto Rs100,000, or both.