LAHORE: The unwieldy process at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s display centres has irked the citizens who are visiting to get themselves registered as voters in a bid to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming general elections, Pakistan Today has observed.
According to the details, the voters visiting the ECP offices to check family members’ and their own votes and other relevant details have said the ECP staff was either absent in most of the centres or was not in a position to assist them.
Imran Ali, a voter who went to the Shahdara display centre, said he was highly frustrated when he reached the centre to get his vote transferred from one address to another. “I went there to transfer my vote but no one from the ECP was there to provide me even the most basic information such as how to remove the discrepancies in the voters’ list.”
Another citizen, Murad Khan said he wanted to transfer his vote to his temporary address, but the process left him rather annoyed.
“All I wanted to know was that if I could get my vote transferred to the temporary address given on my CNIC. But it took me two hours to get this information as most of the staff feigned ignorance regarding the process,” he said.
“I visited the display centre three times to point out a discrepancy in my vote. Most of the times, the ECP staff was either absent or simply not willing to accommodate my query,” said another voter, Abbas Ahmed who visited the Mozang display centre.
The ECP had set April 24 (Tuesday) the last day for voters’ registration, transfer and correction after preparing preliminary electoral rolls having names of 104 million voters and put them on display at over 14,000 display centres across the country from March 26 for the general public.
The voters had been asked to check their and their family members’ voting details and point out any discrepancy or correction or to get their votes transferred from one address to another.
However, keeping in view the grievances of the voters and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders’ demands, the ECP on Tuesday extended the last date of registration of voters till April 30, 2018.
Earlier in the day, PTI senior leader Dr Arif Alvi had demanded from the ECP to extend the last date for voters’ registration until the end of April.
Arif Alvi had said that as per the article 39(1) of the Election Bill 2017, it was possible to change the address in the electoral lists 30 days before the dissolution of the National Assembly.
Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly and PTI leader Mian Mehmoodur Rashid had also demanded the ECP to extend the date for voters’ registration as a large number of youngsters was unable to get themselves registered earlier.
ECP Punjab Spokesperson Huda Ali Gohar said the ECP had not received any request from the PTI leaders to extend the date for voters’ registration. “Memhoodur Rashid has not contacted the ECP yet, but the date has been extended to facilitate the general public so that they can get themselves registered as voters and exercise their right.”
According to the preliminary electoral rolls, the total number of voters stands at 104,267,581, with 59,740,095 voters in Punjab, 22,066,558 in Sindh, 15,075,616 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,194,311 in Balochistan, 2,460,804 in FATA and 730,197 in Islamabad.