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Election Commission gives final touches to Electronic Voting Machine Specifications

Islamabad: A meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), for demonstration of EVM prototype machine, finalization of its specifications was held today under the chairmanship of Honourable Member Election Commission, Mr. Justice (Retd) Riaz Kayani, and attended by Honourable Members Election Commission of Pakistan, namely, Justice (Retd) Muhammad Roshan Essani and Justice (Retd) Fazal-ur-Rehman. Mr. Ishtiak Ahmad Khan, Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan, senior officers of the ECP and NADRA, representatives of various EVM manufacturers also attended the meeting.

Mr. Ishtiak Ahmad Khan briefed the participants about the background of the EVM and progress so far made in this regard and said that a positive response from political parties and civil society organizations, the ECP has been working on EVM for two years in consultation with the political parties, civil society organizations and media.

He said that after decision of the ECP to introduce an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) system; various committees were constituted by the Honourable chief election Commissioner to assess its feasibility including its technical and financial aspects. He said that it was also decided by the ECP that the system would be implemented in phases – it will first be introduced as a pilot project in one district and then gradually expanded.

He further said that, over the last two years, the ECP has been working in assessing the feasibility of introducing electronic voting machines (EVM) in Pakistan and we have made significant progress on feasibility study as compare to India where it took 22 years to be finalized.

He said that “today’s meeting has been specifically convened to finalize the specifications of a machine, amongst the available machines, and after demonstration, final decision of the ECP would be sought.” He further elaborated that after approval, the vendors will be asked to manufacture the EVM according to approved specifications and these machines will be used in a pilot project in any bye-election for which necessary amendments in the law would also be made before its introduction.

Later on, demonstrations were given by COMSATS, TIP, KRL, NIE, Smartmatic, and Indra Company (Spain).

Mr. Ishtiak Ahmed Khan concluded that finally, it has been decided by the ECP to manufacture a simple machine having audit trail for introduction in bye-election as a pilot project, after necessary amendments in the law.

For more information, contact:
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)
Election Commission of Pakistan Secretariat
Election House, Constitution Avenue G-5/2, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 920 1975, +9251 920 6062
Fax: +9251 920 5402, +9251 920 5300

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