A new report by the Pattan Development Organization has found that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) have failed to register all eligible voters in 102 of 134 districts. This means that 13 million eligible voters could be excluded from the electoral process in the upcoming general elections.
The problem is most pronounced in Balochistan, where about one-third of the eligible population could be excluded from voting. Even in Punjab, which has strong infrastructure, half of its 40 districts have low registration, while 12 districts report over or exceptionally over-registration. In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 21 out of 35 districts show significant disenfranchisement, with low or very low registration in five districts, low registration in 16, and over or exceptionally over-registration in five. Sindh is the exception, showing no over-registration but under-registration in 24 districts.
This could have a major impact on the outcome of future elections in the affected districts. Pakistan primarily uses a first-past-the-post system, where even minor changes in voter registration can significantly influence election results.
What can be done?
It is important to register to vote and to make sure that your friends and family are registered as well. You can check your registration status online or at your local voter registration office. If you are not registered, you can register online or at your local voter registration office.
If you believe that you or someone you know has been disenfranchised, you can file a complaint with the ECP. The ECP has a procedure for handling complaints and will investigate any allegations of voter fraud.