Major project of Biometric verification of voters at 30 polling stations during by-elections in NA-19 Haripur on August 16, 2015, by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and NADRA proved unsuccessful because of serious deficiencies in system and telecom network.
ECP Issues Report on Failure of System Today
According to ECP, it will report on the concerned issue today while consulting the relevant officers. Unfortunately, the Biometric machines at 6 polling stations didn’t work accordingly because of some technical problems.
At other polling stations, many voters faced problems in biometric verification. Labourers and even some housewives couldn’t get themselves verified biometrically due to dim thumb impressions.
On the other hand where decisions are made on the basis of unreadable thumb impressions taken manually on paper, serious problems were seen in Haripur while capturing impressions digitally through biometric machines connected with main network through satellite signals.
According to reliable sources, PTA and NADRA have informed ECP that their systems were not designed to manipulate electoral exercise where millions of impressions are being checked in a time span of 9 hours. Still both the institutions have shown their interest to work for betterment and upgradation of the system so it would be able to support the electoral process. Experts however say that same can be done and implemented in phases after checking authenticity, credibility, effectiveness and response during some pilot projects and it could not be launched on national level all of a sudden.
Officials are of the view that even after its implementation there will be chances of maneuvering of this system. Experts revealed that this was the same reason that ECP stopped the project of introducing Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) because such machines, manufactured locally or internationally, can be hacked easily and whole process can be manipulated by powerful players.
According to experts:
“Many advanced countries that have changed to EVMs are changing their voting system back to the more trustful and transparent manual system of voting.”