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Polls: stopping fake voting

July 19, 2012


JUST as the Election Commission has collected data from Nadra about an identity card-holder, e.g., his name, father’s name, identity card number and address for preparing the voter list, similarly such a person’s photograph or his thumbprint should be part of the master voter list.

In this list there must be additional space (box) in which every voter, after getting confirmation of his vote number in the master voter list, should verify his identity card.

Before casting vote, the voter should also put his thumbprints in the space provided in the master voter list instead of in the voting slip received from the counter.

It is the responsibility of the Election Commission staff and poling agents to ensure that the number of votes cast should be equal to the number of thumbprints in the master voter list. For example, if 2,000 votes are cast at any polling station with the consensus of all parties but the box contains 3,000 votes, then obviously there must be 3,000 thumbprints in the master voter list.

If it is not, then the election staff should be asked to tell which party or candidate has cast 1,000 bogus votes. In any case if 1,000 fake votes are cast under compulsion, then they must be of a few persons. The scanning machine can trace down such persons as have cast fake votes.

Then a legal action should be initiated against them, and the candidate responsible for such a wrongdoing should be punished by withholding the result.

Although the Election Commission has not used until now any electronic machine for detecting fake votes and has also excused itself from doing so in the coming polls, such experiments, however, can be conducted at a particular place with the help of electronic machine.

In this way a voter’s identity card and thumb impression can be matched with those of millions of other Pakistanis. It is an experiment and can at any stage be linked or connected as it happens in the case of bank ATM machine getting out of order or linking down, but in the manual system the thumbprint, which is already printed in the master voter list, can be easily matched with the new thumbprint with the help of convex lens or scanning machine, if required.

The manual way is more reliable and there will be no chance of error. In this way the people would be afraid of putting their thumbprints in front of other persons data.

If such a method of selection is imposed by the Election Commission or the court, the contesting candidates would be afraid of getting their results withheld, particularly the top number 1, 2 and 3 candidates would stop their voters from casting fake/bogus votes. Through this manual way bogus voting can be stopped throughout the country.

If voting is done through an electronic machine, it would be an additional check. If we want to get a transparent election, we all have to adopt such a transparent method.