Use of EVMs in elections to cost dearly: ECP

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While the government is pushing for the introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs) to ensure transparent polls, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) believes the use of these machines in elections will cost the national kitty dearly.

Sources privy to a recent meeting between officials of the election monitoring body and the science and technology minister stated that more than Rs200 billion worth of funds are required for the purpose. The meeting deliberated the use of EVMs in polls, the sources said.

They revealed that the purchase of EVMs and other related infrastructure will cost the exchequer to the tune of Rs150 billion. The sources said two officials of the ministry could not to give satisfactory answers to the commission’s questions.

“If eight EVMs are deployed at one polling stations, eight people will be required to manage them and these people will go to another person to collect results, which means the work would be done manually,” they said.

The commission said every polling stations must have an alternative source of power to ensure the EVMs function without any interruption. It said as many as 3,900 EVMs are required for election for the office of Islamabad mayor.

The ECP asked the ministry to provide at least 50 machines for training of the election staff. It called for procurement of the EVMs as per the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules laws.