ECP to use 150 EVM machines in Peshawar bye-election

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 22 (APP): Election Commission of Pakistan
(ECP) will use 150 electronic voting machines (EVM) on trial basis in
up-coming bye-election in constituency NA-4 Peshawar.
Secretary ECP Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad in a briefing on
Friday said that the commission has received the provisional
report on use of biometric verification machines (BVMs) in NA-120
bye-election in Lahore and a detailed report of the pilot project
would be submitted in the parliament for further legislation.
He said that the first pilot project of 100 BVM machines
has been initiated in bye-election of NA-120 Lahore in 39 polling
stations and 100 polling booths.
He said that the total registered voters in these polling
stations were 57,265 including 30,979 male and 20,959 female
voter.The data of these voters including pictures and thumb impression
were fed in these BVM machines, he added.
The preliminary report indicated that 22,181 voters used
this machines out of which 19,520 voters were verified through thumb
impression successfully while 2,646 voters couldn’t verified, he
added.
He said that the ratio of verification of voters through
use of BVM machines remained 88 percent while the ratio of
non-verification was 12 percent due to different reasons.
He said that the ECP has some concerns about this high
ratio of non-verification as if this machine is used in general
election there is chance of missing of major portion of voters in the
country even this figure could be 11.6 million voters out of total 97
million registered voters.
He said that the BVM machines were used in urban
constituency in NA-120 bye-election where education ratio was also high and
that if this machine is used in any rural area the chances of non-
verification could be very high.
The secretary said that during bye-election, the ECP has
also managed the record of those voters whose pictures and thumb
impression was missing with the NADRA.
He said that the BVM machines were used just for trial
basis to examine its functioning and other aspects. He added voters
were enthusiastically involved in the biometric process.
Replying to a question, he said that the ECP will write a
letter to know about the exact figure of those whose thumb
impression which was missing with the NADRA.
He said that general elections 2018 will be held under new
laws.
Director General IT ECP Muhammad Khizar Aziz said that the
use of BVM machines were examined in different ways and SOPs were
made and followed during use of these machines in bye-election.
He said that the ECP had conducted first pilot testing
using 100 biometric verification machines on 39 polling stations
comprising 100 polling booths in NA-120 on using specialized
devices designed and developed for election purposes.
He said that reasons behind non-verification of voters
through BVM machines including un-availability of data from NADRA, non-
detection of thumbs of senior citizens and dry or injured thumb
of voters mainly from labour class.
He said that the battery time of BVM machines was good as
majority of BVM remained functional on same battery which was
installed from start of polling time. However, four machines
couldn’t work in data binding, he added.
He said that due to support of Pakistan army, the ECP staff
deployed for operation of BVM machines had got good response from
voters to use this machine.
He said that in total 39 polling station where BVM machines
were used, Pakistan Muslim League (N) was in leading position in
28 while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was successful in 11 polling
stations.
He said that several new technologies were introduced in
bye-election including mobile apps and goggle map.