Despite passage of the law by the Parliament on Wednesday allowing the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seems reluctant about committing to using the new method of voting in the next general election. On Thursday, during a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice, the ECP secretary said that there were still many hindrances to using EVMs in the upcoming general election.
The ECP secretary said that purchasing the machines and training the staff will be major hurdles in the process. He added that the cost of purchasing these machines would be at least Rs.150 billion. While explaining the intricacies of the entire process, he said that it was very easy to tamper with the system of the machines and hence the credibility of the entire election might come into question.
During the meeting, members from the ruling alliance said that the ECP should respect the decision of the Parliament and prepare to use EVM’s in the next general election. While members of the opposition raised questions about the viability of adopting the new system.
Particular questions were raised about using the machines in Balochistan, which lacks a proper internet infrastructure.
Concerns were also raised about educating voters to use the new technology. The procurement and safety of the machines would also have to be looked after.