Pakistan’s next election will be done through electronic-voting. A system of scientific application which has been tried by a couple of countries before, but each have not had a favourable experience. There are a lot of issues that electronic voting system itself presents, one of them being the fraudulent voting.
In order to deal with this, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will use thumbprint-tracing technology, which will be applied for the first time in Pakistan’s next year’s elections. The prints will be matched with those on a ballot paper with the national database, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). After the introduction of the computerized national identity cards (CNICs), voters have been asked to upgrade to the new form, as only the ones possessing the computerized version will be allowed to cast a vote.
This current government will be the first in Pakistan’s entire history to complete its first term without any interruption as had happened in the past. It is the first civilian government to complete five years, though not without its political ups and downs. The term will be completed in March 2013, though the election date for the next year has not been announced as yet.
It is a step forward in democratization of Pakistan, but more than having an election and conducting it in a new way, it is important to strengthen the democratic institutions in the country, which has not happened. Electronic voting does not come without its own flaws, and rigging can also take place in voting through an electronic system too. Nothing has been offered to guarantee such a transparency, but it is better to see ECP supervising carefully.