ECP forms committees on EVMs, I-voting

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ISLAMABAD: In a significant move, the Election Commission of Pakistan has formed three committees for implementation of the legislation on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Internet Voting for overseas Pakistanis.

The Electronic Voting Machine and Overseas Voting Technical Committee was formed under the chairmanship of Secretary Election Commission. Its mandate is to review the technologies used in the election process, identification of international standards and best practices, the use of electronic voting machine and overseas voting method and scope of work, policy, machine building strategy, including technical and functional review, final concept note, preparation of RFP within legal limits and identification of future requirements. It is also supposed to find which processes are required for voting of Pakistanis abroad, including identification and implementation procedures.

The second committee is headed by Additional Secretary (Admin) whose mandate includes electronic voting machine and expenses on Internet voting system (financial implications) and other election related matters. The mechanism for actual use will be presented to the ECP. In addition, the ECP will present its comprehensive recommendations on the budget requirements of the ECP for the implementation of this project and other matters, including arranging storage of machines.

The government should be informed about the arrangements of safe storage on short and long term basis. The commission has proposed a Project Planning Commission in H-11/4, where storage can also be arranged and suitable space can be allocated in any government building for stop-gap management. The third committee is headed by the Director General of Law and its mandate includes informing the Election Commission of the difficulties encountered and formulating its own suggestions and recommendations for amendments to existing laws and rules with reference to EVMs and I-voting and related rights of overseas Pakistanis.

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