ISLAMABAD: All aspects have been taken into consideration, especially security and reliability, while developing the electronic voting machine (EVM), Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz said on Wednesday.

“As far as the Ministry of Science and Technology is concerned, it has incorporated all requirements of the Election Commission, and it was now up to the commission to decide whether the EVM was according to its standards,” Mr Faraz said while speaking at a media briefing at the Parliament House where the government had scheduled a demonstration of EVMs for lawmakers.

The federal minister said the machines could not be hacked and did not need internet connectivity, adding that they could neither be tampered with nor rigged.

“They were the answer to a fair and transparent voting mechanism with immediate and reliable results,” Mr Faraz said, calling upon lawmakers to test the EVM on display for their satisfaction.

The science and technology ministry was coordinating with the ECP, which was the biggest stakeholder for a demonstration either before or immediately after Muharram, the minister said.

Says machines cannot be hacked, did not require internet connectivity

Responding to questions on how EVMs functioned, Shibli Faraz said it was not possible to cast votes repeatedly.

“The machine paused after a vote was cast and was not connected with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra),” he explained.

He also explained that voters’ identity would remain confidential and that votes would not be verified through thumb impressions but voters’ lists instead.

The minister said 3pc of the votes or a total of 1.8 million votes were wasted throughout the country during the general elections and margins of victory often came down to one or two votes.

“EVMs would eliminate this waste,” he assured.

Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser took to Twitter after testing the EVM.

“Free and fair elections by using technological advancements are pivotal to ensure transparency in electoral process and strengthen democracy in Pakistan,” Mr Qaiser said while congratulating the Ministry of Science and Technology.

According to Shibli Faraz, the new EVM was simple and user-friendly for voters as well as the polling staff and eliminated chances of rigging.

“The machine could not be hacked as it was developed using indigenous technology without an operating system and did not require an internet connection,” he said.

Earlier in May, the prime minister had invited the opposition to sit down with the government and participate in bringing electoral reforms such as the use of EVMs to restore credibility of local polls.

Last week, the Ministry of Science and Technology gave Prime Minister Imran Khan a demonstration of the locally-manufactured voting device.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2021

Opinion

Civil liberties
23 Oct 2021

Civil liberties

The late I.A. Rehman is esteemed on both sides of the border.
The Hamza factor
Updated 23 Oct 2021

The Hamza factor

A new story is quietly unfolding inside the PML-N and there may yet be a surprise twist.
What should Imran Khan do?
Updated 23 Oct 2021

What should Imran Khan do?

Making a mishmash of religion and politics won’t turn Pakistan into a welfare state. Here’s what can.
Afghan health crises
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Afghan health crises

The condition and prospects of Afghanistan’s health sector are complex and grave.

Editorial

A final push
Updated 23 Oct 2021

A final push

PAKISTAN’S hopes of exiting the so-called FATF grey list have been shattered once again. The global money...
23 Oct 2021

Kabul visit

FOREIGN MINISTER Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s flying visit to Kabul on Thursday is the first official high-level...
23 Oct 2021

Baqir’s blooper

THE remarks made by State Bank governor Reza Baqir at a London press conference have hit a raw nerve in Pakistan. In...
Spate of attacks
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Spate of attacks

Following a near-constant decline since 2016, the year 2021 has witnessed a precipitous rise in violence-related fatalities in KP.
22 Oct 2021

Libel suits

THE outcome of two libel cases recently decided by courts in England should be edifying for the government — if it...
22 Oct 2021

Education losses

A NEW report on the education losses suffered by Pakistani children due to pandemic-induced school closures sheds...