|NADRA study shows voter numbers rise in Punjab|
09 July 2012
Two interesting trends emerging from the new voter list, which is in its final stages, is the climbing numbers in Punjab and that 35% of those on the list will be under 30.
A study carried out by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on the computerised electoral rolls that will be ready for printing by the end of this month reveal these interesting statistics.
The list for the next general elections will contain more than 85 million names, and over 35% of the voters will be between 18 and 30. This is a considerable figure and likely to influence voting patterns.
Data compiled so far contains over 84.2 million names with the figure likely to cross 85 million by the time the general election’s schedule is announced.
The last list, compiled in 2007-08, had around 81 million voters.
The new electoral rolls which NADRA and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) are preparing will be based on computerized national identity cards (CNICs). Each voter’s CNIC number will be their unique identification number and they will be asked to show original CNICs at the time of voting.
Though not completely foolproof, authorities claim using CNICs as the sole document for registering votes minimises the margin of error.
The 2007-08 voters list, on the basis of which the last general elections and all subsequent by-elections were held, had been found to be full of errors. 37.1% of the registered voters were fake or multiple entries, raising serious concerns about the authenticity of the entire electoral process.
These dubious entries have been removed from the new lists.
The number of registered voters has not increased in all provinces.
Balochistan seems to be losing faith in the electoral process. The number of voters has declined from 4.3 million to 3 million. Surprisingly, Sindh which previously had 19.5 million registered voters also witnessed a slight decrease to 19 million.
Punjab, on the other hand, is responsible for nearly all the net increase. The province makes up for half of the country’s population and has 148 general seats in the National Assembly. It has a total of 48 million registered voters against the 44 million earlier.
Punjab plays a crucial role in the formation of the federal government. With the addition of 35 reserved seats it has a total of 183 seats, which is more than the combined number of seats of the other three provinces in the 342-member National Assembly.
A slight increase was witnessed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the capital city of Islamabad. The number of voters in K-P increased from 10.8 million to 12 million, while in FATA from 1.2 million to 1.6 million.
Islamabad, which has two National Assembly seats, now has 0.6 million voters against the 0.5 million earlier.
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