The Nadra chairman has announced production of an electronic machine for voting in the elections. In a country that is 30 percent literate, the introduction of such machines will complicate matters and generate further controversies. Furthermore, will the Election Commission of Pakistan be able to provide uninterrupted power supply to polling stations when our electricity system is so unreliable?
During the recent general elections, the ECP failed to provide magnetic ink for the voting resulting in fingerprint verification controversies. Even in the existing system, voters – particularly those that are uneducated – find it almost impossible even to locate their names in the voting lists and relevant polling stations without help. Frequent hiccups in the electronic voting machines generate election controversies even in highly literate and developed countries like the US. A thorough debate must be undertaken before introducing electronic gadgets into our voting/election system. We first need to create a suitable environment for introducing advanced technology into our voting system otherwise we will end up creating more problems than solving them.
Air-Cdre (r) Mohammad Yaqoob Khan