To win the trust of the public, the first move of the PML-N should be to introduce advanced technological systems for casting votes. It’s the digital age and we should invest in utilizing smart processes in the future. I suggest the people make waves in having the ECP acquire a thumb scanner along with eye scanners. We already have the data available for all thumb scans and eye scans with NADRA.
So how does it work? You enter your ID card number to shorten the time of scan matches hence helping the machine to verify your thumb and eye scans and then digitally allowing you to vote. Just like an ATM transaction, a hard copy of your vote should be printed as a receipt to be polled in ballot boxes.
A second (optional) voter copy should be provided, optional because it may not be safe in areas where parties victimize opposition voters. The last time I checked, we have some 70,000 polling stations and around 4 such machines on each station is more than sufficient.
Pros: This will remove any type of fake vote, provided the police or army are present at each station to ensure people aren’t being forced to vote for a particular candidate. It will save time by teaching the method on display screens in the waiting lines and avoid the mess of inked thumbs. We don’t know how harmful the ink’s chemicals are for people with diabetes or sensitive skin.
Cons: Anonymity of the voter would end since the votes can be traced. The ECP will also have to get a hold of impartial neutral software security firms to ensure the system is hack and tamper proof as well as ensure that no fake votes are polled. It’s important that the firm overseeing it has no gain or stake with the outcome of Pakistan’s elections, though truthfully speaking, any election in any major part of the world has an effect on all nations in one way or the other.
If you have any suggestions, do mention them below.
About the author: Zohaib is former CEO of Nadia Textiles and currently a franchisee for Pearl Continental Catering in Lahore and investor-founder of several B-corporations, notably Uth Oye.