The federal Minister for Science and Technology, Shibli Faraz, has stated that around 350,000 to 400,000 electronic voting machines (EVMs) are required to ensure fairness and transparency in the next elections, and that these machines will be set up in the upcoming six months.
He said that the National Science and Technology University (NUST), COMSATS, and the National Institute of Engineering will manufacture the EVMs using local technology at half the price of imported equipment to ensure transparency in the electoral process in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision. He said that they can produce 2,000 EVMs on a daily basis at the cost of Rs. 65,000 per EVM. Additionally, the EVMs will use a special kind of paper from which ink cannot be removed for five days.
Minister Faraz announced that once the EVMs are ready, their performance will be tested in by-elections. They will be activated after Eid-ul-Adha by the members of the National Assembly and the Election Commission of Pakistan to raise awareness about their benefits and to enhance public trust.
Voter identities will remain anonymous as the information will be kept confidential. EVMs will operate in areas where the temperature drops from zero to 10 degrees Celsius and also in areas where the mercury is 55 degrees. The idea is that eligible people should be elected as members of parliament. Fair and transparent elections will enhance the work of parliament and the whole country will benefit from the use of modern technology.