- Chief Election CommissionerThe Election Commission of Pakistan
The Election Commission of Pakistan: Grant NADRA permission to implement e-voting software for Pakistanis abroad
1. A historic election awaits Pakistan, a country of hardworking and loyal people, wherever in the world they may be. If they are Pakistani, they have a right to vote and the government is bound to deliver this right to them.
2. NADRA has reported that a software is ready to be distributed to identified polling stations outside of Pakistan, where Pakistanis can cast their electronic votes. It only needs the Election Commission's permission. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has already made its stance very clear: it wants all Pakistanis abroad to be able to cast their votes this General Election.
3. Despite NADRA's readiness and willingness to pilot this historic effort in modern-day civic and democratic participation, reports from the Election Commission believe arrangements have not been made. This petition contests that the biggest obstacle - that of creating a digital voting system - has already been surmounted. All that is required is political will. Where the Election Commission already seems to be working hard to prepare genuine lists of competent candidates, why does it ignore the more important part of the election - the will of the people?
4. Granting this permission can revolutionize citizenship for Pakistan and launch it into a modern era of politics, in which neighbouring countries such as India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have all already used electronic voting mechanisms successfully.
5. The voice of each Pakistani is the most important factor in the elections. The institutions of government exist for the service of Pakistani men and women and their children. If Pakistanis believe electronic voting is their right and can succeed, the Election Commission must not doubt their faith and belief in it. In fact, if it itself has been unable to generate an effective proposal to extend voting rights to Pakistanis abroad, the least expected of it is facilitate NADRA in its efforts to do so.
6. Anything short of permission now amounts to failure on the government's part to uphold and protect the democratic rights of Pakistani citizens everywhere, who have reached the age of majority. In that sense, the government will not have fulfilled its duty to its people in seeing through this historic and, hopefully, peaceful democratic transition of government in Pakistan.
- The Election Commission of Pakistan
Chief Election Commissioner
I urge you to uphold the political right to vote of all Pakistani citizens by arranging for overseas voting in the coming General Elections in May 2013.
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