Election Commission of Pakistan announces outcome of Biometric Pilot Project on very small scale (30 polling stations)

Islamabad, August 24, 2015 (PPI-OT): Election Commission of Pakistan is pleased to announce the outcome of the Biometric Pilot Project on very small scale (30 polling stations). This was the first ever pilot project conducted in the history of Pakistan in the Bye-Election NA-19 Haripur held on 16th August, 2015.

It is further to inform that the ECP has successfully achieved the prime objective of the first Pilot Project that was to practically examine on ground the overall performance of the processes and procedures carried out during the Test Run of Biometric Machines.

This demonstration was extremely helpful to educate the stake holders like contesting candidates, political parties, polling agents, polling staff, voters and general public about the significance of the use of Biometric Technology in the real election with its merits and demerits. This was the best approach to sensitize general public about its use in electoral activity by following the ‘principle of evolution’ in a careful manner instead of revolution (sudden change) while introducing new technology in elections.

There were 60 Biometrics machines used at 60 Polling booths in 30 selected Polling stations. These biometric machines were obtained from local telecom service provider for the conduct of its experimental use. The total number of registered voters in these polling stations were 37,924 whereas the polled votes were 15,723. The turnout in these polling stations was 41%.

As per biometrics readings recorded by NADRA, the biometrically verified voters were 46% whereas NOT verified voters were 54%. The reasons of not biometrically verified voters were due to non availability of finger prints in NADRA database, invalid CNIC, block CNIC and callused fingers made poor quality that was not recognized by the system. Since, the whole exercise was performed purely on experimental basis, therefore, the impact (positive or negative) of use of biometric machines in bye-elections did not disturb the electoral process.

In view of aforesaid outcome, it is recommended that the multiple pilot projects using Biometrics shall be continued in different Bye-Elections till the achievement of successful rate near to perfection where no legitimate voter would be deprived to get authenticated only because of any technical or operational reason. More pilot projects will be conducted on both Offline and Online methodologies to examine the success rate. We are thankful to all stake holders including media and general public who supported us while conducting this pilot project.

For more information, contact:
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)
Election Commission of Pakistan Secretariat,
Election House, Constitution Avenue G-5/2,
Tel: +92-51-9201975, +92-51-9206062
Fax: +92-51-9205402, +92-51-9205300