HARIPUR: The teachers, who were engaged for voters’ verification campaign, have demanded of the Election Commission of Pakistan to extend the drive’s closing date as a majority of them, especially those deputed in rural areas, won’t be able to complete the exercise within the stipulated time due to multiple reasons.

Talking to Dawn here on Wednesday, teachers requesting anonymity said the election commission had engaged about 300 teachers from Haripur for verification of voters’ lists for the general elections 2023. They said during the drive a teacher was supposed to delete the names of those voters who had passed away, rearrange the voters’ block and list families as per their residential addresses after transferring names of those voters whose names had erroneously been shifted to other blocks.

“It is an arduous and time-consuming task, especially when most of the families do not extend cooperation to the staff due to cultural and educational barriers and other reasons,” said a teacher, adding he was supposed to make all the required corrections in the voters’ lists of six blocks that comprised a scattered rural population.

Another teacher said the election commission had set Dec 6 deadline for completing the task, but as voters were not cooperating to the required level and the engagement of teachers for duty in local body elections scheduled for Dec 20, they won’t be able complete the lists by the deadline.

He said for error-free verification of 719,070 voters of the district, the election commission should extend the date till Dec 31.

District election commissioner Shaukat Hussain was not available for his comments.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2021

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