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Overseas Pakistanis given deadline for iVoting registration

ISLAMABAD: All overseas Pakistanis should register for the iVoting before the deadline on Saturday (September 15) to vote in the upcoming by-elections.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has allayed concerned that it was acting hastily to allow expatriate Pakistanis to exercise their right to franchise through the software, and said that the system is foolproof even though it is a pilot project.

The commission has launched a website to exercise their right to vote in the bypolls on October 24, and has also started an awareness programme for overseas Pakistanis to educate them about iVoting.

This is the first such Internet voting option ever given to overseas Pakistanis. The online registration procedure began on September 1 and will conclude by September 15.

Registered voters possessing National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and machine-readable passports, or registered as voter in any constituency are eligible for i-voting.

Voters can check their eligibility by entering their NICOP number after which they can start the two-step registration process. The voting will be held for 11 National Assembly and 26 Provincial Assemblies next month.

A registered voter will then be sent a verification and voter pass after which he/she can vote from any Internet connected device. The website offers a detailed help material – from registration to vote casting videos.

Yesterday, ECP spokesperson Nadeem Qasim dismissed concerns over iVoting and said it was the right of the overseas Pakistani to vote and called on political parties to appreciate the electoral body’s efforts in this regard.

The online registration system has been developed in collaboration with NADRA. There are over 700,000 overseas Pakistanis who can get their vote registered through the system.



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