ECP to use EVMs in LG polls under pilot project

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to carry out a pilot project of using electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the local bodies elections.

According to sources within the election commission, the commission would experimentally use the EVM during the local bodies elections and the result of the pilot project would determine the feasibility of its use in the next general elections.

“The ECP has sought 70 EVMs for the pilot project,” they said adding that the commission now awaits a response from the ministry of science and technology in this regard.

The availability of the machines would decide in which province they would be used under a pilot project for holding the local government elections.

On November 25, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) asked the government to release funds for the use of modern technology in the upcoming elections.

The election commission has written a letter to the government for funds, sources at the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs said.

“The ECP will procure over 8,00,000 electronic voting machines,” sources at the ministry said.

The election commission in its letter said that the next general elections will likely be held in October 2023. “Essential steps will be taken for use of modern technology in elections,” the letter read.

“A warehouse will be required to keep over eight Lac electronic voting machines,” according to the letter. “A premises will also be needed for data centre, control centre, modern lab, printing and training,” the ministry sources said.

“A year has passed but the Planning Commission didn’t release funds for the building,” the ECP said. “Precious time has lost due to delay in the release of funds for the necessary infrastructure,” according to the letter.

“The Planning Commission should release funds promptly for construction of the premises in Sector H-11,” the ECP demands.

“The Housing and Works Ministry should also take measures on priority for construction of the building,” the ECP said.

The ECP has also urged the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to bring the matter to the concerned authorities.

The election commission has suggested to the government to provide two floors in Kohsar block for storage of EVMs. “In case of delay in construction of the warehouse a government building should also be allocated in its place,” according to the ECP.

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