The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday okayed the use of i-voting system by overseas Pakistanis in the upcoming by-polls after the Supreme Court ruled that the system was ready for use.
The voter registration process will start on September 1 and overseas Pakistanis will be given 15 days to register themselves to vote on the ECP website or on overseasvoting.gov.pk. The registration will end on September 15.
The overseas Pakistanis will only be able to vote in the constituencies their vote is registered in. It is pertinent to mention that only those overseas Pakistanis who are already registered voters will be able to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming by-polls.
As per the apex court's directive, the results of the i-voting will remain segregated from the basic balloting process so that it could not affect the election results in case of any dispute.
In a landmark decision earlier this month, the Supreme Court had permitted Pakistanis residing abroad to cast their votes in the upcoming by-polls.
"Many congratulations to overseas Pakistanis today," said Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, noting that it would be the first time that expat Pakistanis will be voting in a local election.
If the pilot project of overseas Pakistanis voting in the by-elections ends successfully, it will lead to the court granting expats the right to vote in the general elections.
The by-polls will be arranged to fill seats vacated by lawmakers who contested and won more than one seat in the July 25 elections, or for other reasons.
The judgement was issued by a three-judge bench headed by the CJP which was hearing petitions at the apex court's Lahore registry filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and others, seeking voting rights for overseas Pakistanis.