Minister for Science and Technology, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain while addressing a news conference at Daska revealed that technology has been developed for electronic voting which would be transferred to the Election Commission of Pakistan soon. He was addressing the news conference along with Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Senator Shibli Faraz, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab on Information, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan and Senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader, Usman Dar.
He further explained that the technology has been developed with the support of National Institute of Electronics, National University of Science and Technology and COMSATS and it will help ensure transparency in the election process. “Electronic voting can help get rid of rigging in elections”, he said. Chaudhry Fawad said the government has also presented election reform bill to adopt electronic voting system in elections.
Work on electronic voting has been ongoing since 2009. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had established a Committee on the Use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM Committee) 2009 to establish the viability of electronic voting.
The EVM Committee found that solutions did exist that could meet the needs of Pakistan. It recommended that the use of electronic voting machines be further explored through the conduct of pilot projects for electronic voting. The committee also recommended that Pakistani technology companies be encouraged to begin developing domestic electronic voting solutions, possibly in partnership with international electronic voting machine suppliers.
Since the report, Pakistan piloted electronic voting machines in by-elections. Voters cast their ballots by paper as normal, and these paper ballots were counted to generate the results; but each voter could also cast a test ballot on one of the electronic voting machines being piloted. A number of different electronic voting machines were piloted in this way.