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ECP estimates Rs15mn for i-voting in next polls

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday estimated Rs15 million cost for the exercise to allow the overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes through the internet-voting system in the next general elections. 

According to the sources, the ECP had submitted a pilot project report for i-voting in the parliament today (Monday). The parliament would finalize its recommendations about the i-voting process after reviewing the report.

It is pertinent to mention here that ECP, on October 15 had revealed that 84 per cent of registered e-voters used their right to vote in the by-elections on Sunday (Oct 14).

As many as 5117 voters had cast their votes for National Assembly while 1016 polled for their desired candidates for provincial assemblies. For the first time, expats had exercised their right to franchise in a by-election through i-voting.

The ECP had issued passwords to 7,364 overseas voters to use it for i-voting process for the by-elections. It should be noted that only 7,419 expatriates out of the total 632,000 registered to avail the facility offered to them for the first time in the country’s electoral history.

However an ECP official had said that an amount of Rs95 million was incurred on the exercise to allow the overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes through i-voting.

He had said the major chunk was spent on development of i-voting software and added that each vote cast by overseas Pakistanis in the by-elections cost the national exchequer over Rs15,000.

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