3.2mn visually impaired voters unable to cast vote using EVMs: Shibli Faraz

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz. Photo: Geo.tv

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz Wednesday said that using Electronic Voting Machines in the next general elections will deprive  3.2 million visually impaired people of the right to vote.

The minister brought the matter to the fore while responding to a question asked by MNA Noreen Farooq Ibrahim during the National Assembly session.

Faraz, in his written reply submitted to the NA, said that the EVMs lack the braille feature that enables the visually impaired people to cast a vote.

“New directives must be issued to the Election Commission of Pakistan if we need to add the feature to the EVMs’ system,” he said.

He further stated in his reply that some of the polling stations will not even have ramps for people with disabilities.

There has been a heated debate between the government, the Opposition, and other stakeholders over the use of EVMs, with the Centre claiming it is a way forward to make the elections in the country transparent.

It is pertinent to mention that Faraz has always emphasised why the country should shift to the new method of polling under the government-backed electoral reforms.

‘Next elections will be held through EVMs at all costs’

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that the next general elections would be held through the EVMs at all costs.

“We will give overseas Pakistanis the right to vote, therefore, they should be ready,” the premier said while addressing PTI’s core committee on Thursday.

During the meeting, the premier directed the committee members to complete the ongoing development projects soon and inform people in their respective constituencies about the progress.

The prime minister, shedding light on other matters, said: “Inflation is a worldwide issue and Pakistan has less inflation as compared to other countries.”

‘Electronic voting ‘best’ solution to rigging in elections’

Since the development of EVMs, Faraz has been vouching that the “EVMs cannot be hacked”. He has reiterated on multiple occasions that EVMs are the “best” solution to rigging in elections.

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