Elections 2018: Will Pakistan witness a historic turnout on July 25?
ISLAMABAD: Amid all hustle bustles in general elections that Pakistan witnessed since 1970, one point has been in the national debates over the period of time and that is ‘low turnout of voters’.
The voting turnout has been declining after the first direct general elections of 1970 when the country observed the biggest 63 percent turnout of voters and this time it is a test case for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and all other stakeholders to achieve maximum participation of voters on July 25, 2018.
According to data provided by the ECP, the turnout of general elections held in 2013 was 53.02 percent as compared to the situation in the national ballot of 2008 with a 44.23 percent turnout.
The turnout of 2013 election indicates the possible circumstances of bringing the turnout to more than 60 percent whereas it needs to mobilize, educate and make people realize their fundamental right to elect and decide the future of the country as their civic duty.
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has started a campaign to create awareness amongst the voters till the polling day.
According to the commission, the voters are required to bring their original computerized national identity card on the polling day to cast their vote. Green ballot papers are for the National Assembly seats while white for the provincial assemblies’ seats.
The Election Commission has also launched SMS service through which the voters by sending their CNIC number on 8300 can get details about their polling station.
A result transmission system has also been introduced through which the polling staff by using an application in their cell phones will send election results directly to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
According to ECP’s instructions the State Bank of Pakistan and other private banks have published the advertisement of the commission motivating the public to cast their vote in the general elections not as a common practice rather a national obligation. It has been observed that all the banks have displayed the add on their automated teller machines (ATMs) or cashpoints.
On the election day, the polling will start at 8am and end at 6pm.