Impressed by India’s successful use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in its elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is seeking to emulate the system in the upcoming general elections.
The third meeting of the poll management bodies of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was held at the Indian capital, where “India showcased its use of modern technology for strengthening democracy and election management systems,” a report in Indian daily The Hindu said.
Following a presentation on the use of technology in polls, an ECP member admitted an interest in the Indian mechanism.
“Yes, we would like to follow the best practices followed by India. We are inspired by India’s controls on use of money, power and it will help us increase voter turnouts, as our voter turnout is very low,” Justice (Retired) Muhammad Roshan Essani was quoted as saying by the paper.
Pakistan is set to hold its next general elections next year, and the ECP is expected to complete its electoral rolls by the end of this month.
“For the 83 million voters in Pakistan, the Election Commission of Pakistan has created a computerised data base of voters and we are trying to make use of IT and EVMs in our election system,” Essani added.
Recently, ECP introduced a text-messaging service for the verification of voter details. While some discrepancies were reported in the use of the service, it was hailed as an encouraging step towards increasing transparency in polls.
Meanwhile, the report also quoted ECP spokesman Muhammad Afzal Khan as saying, “With Pakistan, India and Bangladesh having similar cultures, all should help each other...We must learn from each other... We are trying to use EVMs in our elections.”