Pakistan Election: Printing work of 26 crore ballot papers completed for general elections in Pakistan.

Islamabad. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has completed the printing of 26 crore ballot papers for the general elections. The News gave this information in its report on Monday. ECP spokesperson said that as per the order of the Supreme Court, the reprinting work of some ballot papers of some constituencies has also been completed on time. Now the process of distributing ballot papers is going on across the country, which will be completed by Monday. The spokesperson said that 22 crore ballot papers were printed in the 2018 general elections and 800 tonnes of special paper was used for their printing.

26 crore ballot papers have been printed for the general election of the year 2024 for which 2,170 tonnes of paper was used. This increase was mainly due to a jump in the number of candidates in constituencies, which is one and a half times more than in the 2018 elections. According to the spokesperson, several challenges were faced at various stages during the printing process, including court cases and a large number of candidates, but despite the limited time and challenges, the Commission fulfilled its responsibility and completed the printing of ballot papers on time. .

Meanwhile a returning officer (RO) of Shahdadkot raised serious questions about the Election Management System (EMS) – a result compilation mechanism devised by the ECP. ROs of National Assembly constituencies in Sindh, in their letter to the District Returning Officers (DROs), urged them to look into the alleged lapses in the election management system (EMS) of the apex electoral body. He informed the DRO about the errors observed in the poll management system while uploading the details of polling staff.

‘The names of the polling staff went missing despite being uploaded on the EMS,’ the RO claimed. Expressing concern over the functionality of the software, the official said that either the entire EMS has failed or it is being controlled by someone else. They also complained of no response from the polling authority and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), who were contacted to resolve the queries. According to the letter, the software was ‘creating difficulties’ instead of smoothly carrying out the electoral functions. The RO warned that the alleged flaws in the EMS would create difficulties in the smooth conduct of a fair and free general election.

However, in response to the letter, ECP officials dismissed the RO’s concerns and termed them as IT incompetence and mischievous acts of the returning officer. He replied “All the ROs had successfully uploaded their forms on EMS during a training session yesterday. According to the Chief Secretary and Pakistan Engineering Council, not a single RO complained during the training session.

Clarifying the situation further, the ECP said that the details of the polling staff were already uploaded on the EMS and there is no need to re-upload the records during yesterday’s training session. The commission said it has trained ROs in reserve whose services can be availed during the upcoming elections. The apex election body conducted a successful mock test of the EMS on January 27 with useful and encouraging results.

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