ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would establish 14,000 more polling stations for the next general elections, the National Assembly was told on Thursday.
“The government is in the process of increasing the number of polling stations from 69,801 to 83,244 for the next election, keeping in view the number of voters that has surged to around 95 million which was around 86 million,” the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed told the House during the question-hour.
Sheikh Aftab said the ECP had initiated exercise of searching new official buildings in all constituencies in order to increase number of polling stations for further facilitation of voters.
The minister said in this respect, a brainstorming session had been conducted on August 8, 2017 to finalize the mechanism to increase number of polling stations parallel to retention of polling stations established in the previous election.
“After deliberations, it was decided that the Provincial Election Commissioners would work out expected increased number of polling stations in the constituencies under their jurisdiction and newly located official buildings would be made part of draft list of polling stations of each constituency,” Sheikh Aftab said.
The minister further said as per clause 59 of draft Election Bill 2017, within one week after appointment of Returning Officers (ROs), the ECP shall provide, in the prescribed format, a list of proposed polling stations for each constituency to the RO of that constituency.
While, the ECP shall, as far as practicable, retain the polling stations established for the preceding election but it may add to or alter the list as may be required to reduce the distance preferably to one kilometer between a polling station and the voters assigned to it, the minister said.
“As far as practicable, not more than 1200 voters shall be assigned to a polling station and not more than 300 shall be assigned to a polling booth, and reasons for any deviation shall be recorded in writing,” the minister said.