15-day time to register teenagers as voters

May 13, 2002

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ISLAMABAD, May 12: All those citizens who have reached the age of 18 years would be given 15-day time to get themselves registered as voters, a proposed amendment to the Election Order-2002 says.

According to sources in the Ministry of Law, the proposed amendment for lowering the age-limit from 21 to 18 years is expected to be made within next few days, giving teenagers a fortnight to get themselves registered as voters.

The government decision to lower the age limit of voters from 21 to 18 years has created a host of problems for the Election Commission, which is already finding it difficult to make preparations for general election scheduled to be held in October.

The much-orchestrated electoral rolls, which were prepared by Nadra, would become useless and the list which was once discarded by the Election Commission would again have to be updated in a short time by the Election Commission.

Justice Abdul Qadeer Chaudhry, former Chief Election Commissioner, had rejected the electoral rolls in the first phase of local bodies elections.

The lowering of voters age would enhance the number of voters from 61.09 million to over 70 million.

The Election Commission had finalized the fresh electoral rolls only on last Monday on the basis of 21-year age limit.

The new electoral rolls were verified by house-to-house enumeration by a force of about 100,000 officials.

The present government, at the time of seeking its validation from the Supreme Court, had sought two years time for updating the electoral rolls. The same list would now be discarded.