ECP warns voters, parties, officers about ‘don’ts’ of the polling day
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday outlined the crimes that will fall under the jurisdiction of district returning officers (DROs) on the election day – July 25.
According to the regulations issued by the election commission, the following acts will be termed violations of the ECP’s code of conduct and require the respective DRO’s judgement:
- Evicting a voter from the polling station.
- Any direct or indirect attempt to influence a voter in connection with his or her decision to cast or to not cast a vote, either through giving a gift, making an offer or promise will be considered bribery.
- Using force or violence to coerce someone into casting or not casting a vote.
- Intimidation, inflicting harm or threatening someone with the anger or approval of a religious personality.
- Abducting a voter, intimidating, duping or influencing him or her through illegal means.
- Spoiling ballot paper or the official stamp.
- Taking ballot papers from a polling station or inserting fake ballot papers in the ballot box.
- Providing a ballot paper to someone without permission, lifting ballot papers or boxes, breaking the seal on a ballot box, disturbing polling staffers, affecting the polling process with the help of a government official, any attempt to cast a fake vote, or cast multiple votes.
- Showing or possessing firearms during polling process, torturing officials, creating disruptions near a polling station to disturb voters, attempts to affect the working of a presiding officer or other staffers, and convincing a voter to vote for a particular candidate within 400 metres of a polling station.
- Pasting a notice, electoral sign or flag within 100 metre radius of a polling station, or within the special area allotted to election agents.
- Attempting to know for whom a voter has cast his or her vote.
- Attempting to take a picture of your vote/ballot paper.
The DRO/session judge will be able to sentence an offender to three years in jail or Rs100,000, or both.