The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is planning to introduce biometric voting machines on trial basis in the upcoming by-election in the PS-114 constituency in Karachi.
According to an ECP official, these biometric voting machines will be thoroughly monitored. The commission is reportedly working on creating its own storage facility and has acquired buildings in 19 districts while 10 more will be obtained soon.
Around 586,000 staff will be trained during a year to ensure a smooth voting process. The commission has also asked the provincial governments to make sure that all basic facilities are available for voters at the polling stations.
ECP has also warned that the contestants in the by-election on the provincial assembly seat (PS-114, Karachi-XXVI) are not allowed to call, hold or attend any public meeting or procession around the area of the constituency for 48 hours which will end at midnight.
Previously, the Minister of IT and Telecom Anusha Rahman has expressed that the government will not be introducing electronic or biometric voting machines in Pakistan.
Last year, the Punjab government was working on mechanisms to facilitate online voting but no update or reform has yet been announced.
For years, Pakistan has seen instability due to the backlash received in the absence of fair elections. Maybe with this trial project, ECP may consider bringing the nationwide reform for the next year’s election.