Islamabad: Only 7,419 expatriate Pakistanis have shown interest in registering as voters for the upcoming October 14 by-elections to be held in 37 constituencies.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had extended the last date for registration of overseas Pakistanis to September 17 to get maximum number of overseas voters to register, However, by the cut-off date, only 7,419 expatriates had registered on the ECP-designed software.
According to ECP figures, in the 37 constituencies where by-elections are going to be held, a total of 632,000 Pakistanis are living overseas (177 countries) and could have registered with the commission before the deadline.
The process of registering of overseas Pakistanis had started on September 1.
For registration as overseas voters, only those holding National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and machine-readable passports (MRPs) were able to register to vote.
Registered voters will now be sent voter pass (password) between October 10 and October 14 on the email address mentioned in their online application, through which they would be able to cast their votes on Election Day.
On polling day, the voters will have to log in to the website using their username and password and enter the voter pass emailed to them earlier. This will direct them to vote in their registered national and provincial assembly constituencies.
A designated list of candidates of the selected constituency would then be displayed by the system and the voter would select the election symbol of the candidate to cast his vote. Upon successful submission of the vote, a “confirmation” message would be displayed on the screen.
The ECP had also posted on its website separate video tutorials in Urdu and English languages as well as step-by-step help materials to guide voters through the registration and voting process.
According to a statement released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the website for the overseas voters remained functional 24/7 throughout the registration process and did not face any technical problems.