ISLAMABAD: Ruling out reports about a massive disenfranchisement in the upcoming polls, the Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday said it had obtained data of 800,000 voters currently out of electoral rolls, from the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) on Oct 1, and their data entry was in progress.
The ECP made it clear that all of them would be able to exercise their right to vote in the next general elections.
Reacting to an analysis by a coalition of civil society organisations, the commission said as Oct 25 was the cut-off date for registration of voters as well as corrections in the voters’ data, all those to be issued CNICs by that date would be enrolled as voters.
The commission said the analysis that the ECP data showed some 13m voters would be disenfranchised was contrary to facts and based on wrong information.
Says data of 0.8m voters currently out of electoral rolls obtained from Nadra
It said under Section 27 of the Elections Act, the voters are registered either on permanent or temporary address mentioned on their CNICs, and it has nothing to do with the population statistics.
The ECP statement came a day after Pattan-Coalition-38 — an umbrella organisation of several civil society organisations, labour unions and intellectuals — in its findings said widespread over and under-registration of voters is likely to cause massive disenfranchisement of men and women, as well as leaving exceptionally high room for rigging and corrupt practices.
The analysis — based on comparison of the total population of districts across the country according to the latest census and the registered voters in these districts — said a wild variance in registered voters at the district and constituency levels was also revealed.
“For instance, 78 per cent and 75pc of population of Murree and Jhelum, respectively, were registered as voters. In other words, on average about 18pc extra (dubious) votes exist in these two districts,” it added.
In Kohistan, the registration was just 18pcpc. In Balochistan’s Kech, Panjgur, Surab, Shirani, Washuk, Khuzdar and Kohlu, about 25pc of the population was registered as voters.
Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2023