ISLAMABAD: The number of ballot papers excluded from the count in General Elections (GE) 2018 surpassed the number of ballots rejected in General Elections 2013, says a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) release.
Nearly 1.67 million ballots were excluded from the count in GE-2018. This number may slightly vary after the final consolidated result is released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as the ballots excluded from the count at the polling station level by presiding officers (PO) are to be reviewed by the returning officers (RO) during the consolidation proceedings. The ROs can either reject them or count them in favour of a candidate if excluded wrongly.
The increase in the number of ballots excluded from the count was a ubiquitous phenomenon observed in all provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) with nearly 11.7 per cent overall increase. In ICT, the number of ballots excluded from the count is more than double the rejected ballots in the region during GE-2013.
Around 40 per cent increase in the number of ballots excluded from the count was observed in Balochistan, 30.6 per cent increase in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) including Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), 7 per cent increase in Sindh and 6.6 per cent increase in Punjab.