Voting, 2012-style

Voting, 2012-style

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), on Wednesday, launched a text-messaging service for voter-detail verification, along with announcing a three-week extension for registration and corrections.

By sending their National Identity Card (NIC) number (without hyphens) to the number ‘8300,’ users can find out if they are registered to vote and their voting area.

“The ECP is using state of the art SMS technology to facilitate over 80 million voters to get first-hand information about their vote registration and a subsequent preparation of error-free computerised electoral rolls,” ECP’s secretary said.

While the service has been welcomed by prospective voters, its success – in terms of registrations, corrections and awareness – can only be judged after the completion of the three-week period. invites its readers to share their views and experience of the service.

Have you used the ECP text-messaging service?

How effective will this service be in the rural areas, where the majority of the vote bank lies?

Do you feel comfortable sharing your NIC number?

How will the ECP ensure it gathers size-able feedback from the masses?


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63 Responses to “Voting, 2012-style”

  1. Atif Manzoor says:

    The efforts of election commission to know ones vote (area and block code ) is excellent. It should be given more publicity.

  2. JAWAD says:

    hmmm… something commendable by ECP.

  3. ak sheikh says:

    A very nice and efficient service provided by the Ecp. The only thing we are eagerly waiting is a
    neat, clean and transparent election which can only be ensured if the Ecp gets so powerful that it
    can`t be influenced by the people like wahida shah.

  4. omer says:

    definetly a positive step in a transparent elction process . Hopefully dis wl work to bring change n help voters(who ever never casted thr vote before)

  5. Talha Mujahid says:

    The great effort by ECP for our peoples,but make more transparent

  6. Bhajan Lal says:

    Yes I checked it but After checking my voting area It’s very surprised for me that the new voting area has been included,
    Electoral Area: محلہ قربان غلی جتو‏ئی، لاڑکانہ, whereas such name never existed there before so it’s humbly requested to ECP to correct it to avoid confusion among voters!

  7. Habib says:

    ECP should provide verification service from the website also

  8. Chander Mal says:

    Good initiative taken By ECP……. and also hope for the transparent election through computerized network /system to minimize bogus/forged voting…….
    Pakistan Paindabad……..:)

  9. Naveed Mushtaq says:

    An excellent service and a step towards free and fair elections. We should give credit to Govt for this service to ensure transparenet poles. Zardari is very daring.

  10. khan ali says:

    for free and fair election proper AUTOMATION is the only way to considerably minimize the “dhandli” , being an IT specialist, i know very well that fair voting can be possible if things gets automated and for this no one need some big solution or big software or involved of some big company who will take millions of dollars for this and will takes months to implement, it can be achieved using small custom made software with weeks all because of the reason that we have cnic data available at NADRA ;).

  11. Omar says:

    It’s A Very Good Step For Use To Votting………

  12. Najeeb says:

    I am Overseas Pakistani and cannot use this service.
    Election Commission has NOT put much though about Overseas Pakistani’s voting process and then voting verification.

    Overseas Pakistani’s are very patriotic and want Pakistan to succeed. We donate in all national disasters and major contributor of different charities in Pakistan. On the other note we are the most ignored by Pakistan.

    I hope Election Commission soon to start voting verification for Overseas Pakistani’s.

    I also hope that Election Commission will take wise decision in allowing Overseas Pakistani’s to vote in the embassies. Currently Election Commission agreed to allow postal Ballot in which Government has history of CHEATING.

    • Taiba says:

      AOA. I hope soon there would be a step forward to eradicate the ‘cheating’, as a proper mechanism for overseas Pakistanis to vote in Pakistani Elections is yet to be decided. Being the nation of IT heads, i would suggest ECP to automate the system for overseas Pakistanis at the embassies over there. If they can venture with NADRA, they can also make ease for Pakistanis abroad. It’s simply not hard. Rather, it would be much easier. I would quote Mr. Ali’s comment on Feb 14, 2012 – 4:41PM upon the NEWS title ‘ECP grants overseas Pakistanis right to vote’ @ The Express Tribune
      (Published: February 14, 2012)

      “All you need are THREE things, a barcode reader, a biometrics reader, and a reliable internet connection.
      Once the voter will enter any voting booth around the world he/she will swipe his/her ID card which will be verified against national database
      Then the voter will cast a vote and the system will ask for his or her thumb impression verification, once verified the vote will be casted while blocking that ID number for any further votes.
      If its all centralized,
      One voter will be able to cast one vote only
      No threat that someone will enter the voting booth and will take the boxes
      And results will be ready within few hours.”

      I hope it becomes the very help for ECP in assuring quality nationally and internationally :)

      Best Luck EC and Best Luck Pakistan

  13. abdul says:

    I got my name ok bou my area and block code r wrong I dont know whom to contact for correction?

  14. ahmad says:

    I got a sms from 8300 by default, sent them a message and got instant reply, i am registered to vote, but i wonder how many people in rural areas have done that, and also our leaders are hand picked by the americans so why are we wasting resources?

  15. Omer says:

    Yes. I used it and got accurate information.


    Excellent initiative by ECP. I got the reply in 5 seconds with all relevant details for whole of my family.

  17. Taiba says:

    AOA. Emphatically, a good effort by the EC; However i would like to add to the reforms and practices to be carried out by the commission and by the people as well.

    1- For the EC: Well Done ! yet, this provision should be extended to get our rural population inline. So that we be able to assure majority of the data to be error-proof.

    (The conspiracy of whether this should be said or not, matters in that it is required by us – the users of the service, to let the provider know about how they can build a more user-friendly interface for that part of us who are unable to access the service).

    2- For the Awaam: Good Luck for the elections !
    Be Fair and Remember: Never become a part of a conflict, instead, be a part of the solution.

    Best Luck EC and Pakistan !


  18. rural voter says:

    this service is quite satisfying.. and aa nice initiative by the ECP.

  19. zara says:

    when i sent my CNIC number i got a reply telling me my electoral area, serial number and block code, does this mean i am registered? because i have never formally registered myself as a voter like by filling out a form etc, also the reply doesn’t contain my name? is that ok?

  20. Shahid Mir says:

    I sent ID card numbers of my 2 sons and 2 daughters and found no reply. I could not know that if they are registered or not. While they all are eligible voters.They are on their jobs at different places. How can I get them registered. The Registration Service should also be provided through SMS or ECP website so that every eligible voter can get him registered while out of his electoral area, at his job.

  21. AKA says:

    I checked 15 votes of friends and family. One was incorrect, so I submitted a request for correction. Pretty convenient.

    • Farooq Choudhry says:

      could you please tell me what is the process of submitting correction request ? my name is not in the area where i have been living since my birth. but in other area of the same city though all the information is correct but only the vote area is wrong. I want to change .. kindly guide me if you can

    • USMAN NISAR says:

      As-salam, how to get your voting location change i.e from T.T. Singh to Islamabad where I am currently living and my NIC it is written Islamabad as current resident while t.t.singh was permanent resident

  22. faraz rehman says:

    Its a very good step ! i hope and wish democracy stays and things will get better ! my suggestion is EC should also tell the polling station address so no hassel in casting the vote .

  23. ALi Khan says:

    yes , i have utilize this messaging service. i got my area and block code as a verification. on Facebook on Facebook