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KARACHI: The Election Commis­sion of Pakistan (ECP) has explained what would count as a valid or an invalid vote as the country is set to go to the polls on Wednesday.

In a letter addressed to presiding officers on Monday, the ECP listed down the requirements that a ballot paper would have to meet in order to be included in the counting process.

As per the electoral body, a ballot paper will be invalid if it is missing the official code mark or assistant presiding officer’s signature, the ECP’s watermark and the official nine-matrix seal.

The commission also said that a ballot paper with an attached paper or anything else or bearing stamps on more than one candidate’s election symbols would be considered as invalid. Similarly, the ballot paper with stamp appearing equally in more than one candidates’ boxes will also be invalid.

However, the ECP explained that a ballot paper will be counted as a valid vote if the stamp appears in multiple boxes but a prominent portion of it is in a particular candidate’s box.

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 a valid vote, the ECP clarified.

Polling will start at 8am and conclude at 6pm, a total of 10 hours uninterrupted. The voters who would be present on the premises of the polling station after 6pm would be allowed to cast their vote, but no one else would be allowed to enter beyond the specified time.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2018