Verification of votes: name of polling station to be part of SMS reply -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Verification of votes: name of polling station to be part of SMS reply

ISLAMABAD: National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on Tuesday claimed that name of polling station would also be part of Short Message Service (SMS) reply, launched for verification of vote status.

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in collaboration with NADRA and mobile phone operators had launched the world’s biggest SMS service for 83.2 million Pakistani voters, besides displaying new electoral rolls across the country.

Deputy Chairman of NADRA, Tariq Malik told APP that on sending Computerised National Identity Card number (without dashes) at short code 8300, a voters gets SMS reply with the information of his/her electoral area name in Urdu language, where she/he is registered to vote, including tehsil and district.

Exact Block code number per Pakistan Census Organisation is also displayed with serial number in the respective voters list.

He said to further facilitate the voters, name of polling station would also be included in SMS reply in future, so that a voter can have the knowledge where he/she would cast vote.

He said this information helps the person file for any objection and claims, in case one feels correction is required.

Tariq Malik said relevant forms were available on ECP website and at more than 50,000 display centers where these lists were displayed and added the last date for filing objections has passed and now ECP is in process of making necessary correction pointed out by voters by April 15.

He said the SMS service was not only meant for facilitating the voters, but also providing monetary benefits to Cellular companies in the country, who are competing to encourage citizens for verification of their votes through SMS.

So far over 6 million citizens have availed this facility, he added.

He lauded co-operation of mobile companies in this historic step, leading towards ensuring free and fair elections.

This is the first phase and cellular companies would design more strategies to encourage citizens with passage of time.

Replying to a question, he said the innovative SMS service is a milestone to facilitate the voters, adding that it is a great convenience to the citizens who are able to check their vote status for Rs 2 plus taxes through e-governance, using state-of-the-art technologies.

The Deputy Chairman said Mobilink, being the largest mobile phone operator is leading in term of checking vote verification through SMS with 31 percent overall share.

Mobilink’s share in total SMS utilised for the purpose is 31.17 percent.

Telenor is second as far as using the particular service is concerned.

Its share is 28 percent.

Ufone is third in a row with 22 percent in total SMS, Warid with 10 percent and Zong with 9 percent in total SMS share.

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