Nadra proposes major change in i-voting system

Published August 4, 2021
In this file photo, a woman casts her vote through the i-voting system. — Dawn/File
In this file photo, a woman casts her vote through the i-voting system. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Chairman Tariq Malik on Tuesday proposed a significant change in the i-voting system to empower and enable voters to verify their votes included in the final count.

“Elections are not free and fair unless they are verifiable,” he said while briefing a subcommittee of cabinet’s committee on electronic voting machines and overseas Pakistanis’ right to vote.

The meeting chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan was attended by Information Technology Minister Aminul Haq and senior officials from the ministries of parliamentary affairs and science and technology.

According to informed sources, the Nadra chief said the proposed system was secure, transparent and verifiable and would have complete audit trail. He told the meeting that in line with an ordinance promulgated to give voting right to overseas Pakistanis and the Constitution, the work on developing the system was underway and expected to be completed in a year.

He said that under the new system, the administrative matters and the authority of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would be kept segregated.

The Nadra chief said he had also briefed the ECP on the new system, adding that the commission gave an indication that the job would be assigned to Nadra.

Mr Awan praised Mr Malik and noted that the ECP and Nadra were coming on the same page because of his efforts.

The subcommittee decided that the experts from Nadra and IT ministry would meet on Wednesday (today) to prepare a report with mutual consultation. The panel will discuss the report in its next meeting scheduled for Aug 9.

The subcommittee asked the Nadra chief to keep his presentations on i-voting ready for different parliamentary panels.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2021

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