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Objections on electronic voting machine, how will rigging be stopped?

Government announces use of electronic voting machine for transparent elections in the country (Photo Mint)

Whether it is a local body election or a general election in Pakistan, the losing party never concedes defeat but instead justifies its defeat by accusing the winners of rigging.

Thus, the use of the electronic voting machines has been announced for which there have been objections from political parties and the Election Commission, after which the question has arisen as to how the problem of fraud in the country will be solved.

Electronic Voting Machine

The Ministry of Science and Technology has also tested all the electronic voting machines after their development, while the EVM has features as per the instructions of the Election Commission. The EVM can be activated for two days with the help of a battery, normal Elections will require 400,000 electronic voting machines. An electronic voting machine (EVM) can operate at minus 10 to 55 degrees Celsius. There will be an electronic voting record as well as a ballot paper. 

Opposition objections

Pakistan’s opposition parties have rejected a proposal to use electronic voting machines in the country’s upcoming elections. Opposition parties have said that all parties have already rejected the electronic voting machine as a new method of vote theft. The Election Commission has also raised objections to the electronic voting machine. Now, the use of the electronic voting machine will not be allowed in any way.

Government’s stance

The government has announced the use of i-voting and electronic voting machines in all cases. The government says that the Election Commission does not have the power to make laws. Electronic voting machines do not use the Internet, nor are they connected to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or any operating system, so they cannot be hacked. Parliamentary parties are urged to review the system and, if there are any concerns, to inform them, the system is for transparency in the electoral process.

Election Commission

The Election Commission of Pakistan has rejected the use of electronic voting machines and raised 37 objections in the Senate Parliamentary Committee on the use of electronic voting machines.

1) The Election Commission says that free, transparent, and credible elections cannot be held through the electronic voting machine as per the Constitution.

2) According to ECP, the electronic voting machines cannot stop rigging, it can be hacked, the machine can be easily tampered with, its software can be easily changed.

3) Election Commission says machines cannot stop election fraud, state powers can be misused.

4) No time for testing for the electronic voting machines, no stakeholder consensus, no public confidence, no funding available across the country.

5) There will be no proper confidentiality of ballot papers on the electronic voting machine, the identity of the voter will not remain anonymous from the electronic voting machine.

6) The software and hardware of the electronic voting machine cannot be seen, who will be in charge of the EVM, nothing is being said.

7) The minimum cost of using EVM will be Rs 150 billion, despite spending a lot of money, the transparency and credibility of the election will remain doubtful.

8) The software of the machines can be changed in the warehouse and transportation, the transparency in the black box may be questioned.

9) The ECP has said that there may be questions about the usability of the machine everywhere, there will be questions on the transfer and safety of the machine.

10) With so many machines it will not be possible to hold elections in one day, voter education and technology will also be an obstacle.

11) The ECP has said that if the court order changes the ballot at the right time, then there will be difficulties.

12) EVMs can delay results, distrust media NGOs and civil society.

13) Repair of machines can lead to election fraud, how to make sure the electronic voting machine is honest.

What is a solution to the problem?

There is no doubt about the steps taken by the government to curb allegations of electoral fraud in Pakistan. The opposition and other concerned bodies should agree on effective legislation as well as relevant measures to ensure transparent elections in the country. Create opinions so that allegations of election rigging in the country can be prevented.

Opposition parties should abandon the practice of opposition for the sake of opposition and if there is any defect in the electronic voting machine, suggest rectifying it and if there is any other way for transparent elections, let them know. The writ of fraud in the country will never be stopped by the writ of the infamous and the losing parties will always make such a fuss.

Therefore, if you are serious about getting rid of this problem, then all parties should work together to solve this problem so that the dream of free, fair, and transparent elections in the country can be realized.