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. kishore kumar says:

    this is better but still reforms r necessarily no fathers name and cast are sent

  2. Shiraz Malik says:

    - 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?
    With teledensity of approx 65% (~ 115m), it still is going to be effective. Without going into details, I think 50% of the possible voters can be approached by ECP or vice versa.

    – Do you feel comfortable sharing your NIC number?
    This is fine. As it seems, the communication is automated once the SMS is sent. Since CNIC numbers would already be stored somewhere in ECP’s system, your CNIC is not a secret number in any case.

    – How will the ECP ensure it gathers size-able feedback from the masses
    Some responsibility lies with the users of the service. If they are receiving information which isn’t correct, they should take some step to get that corrected for their own benefit.

  3. Dr Asif says:

    Very good , it feels like an evolving Pakistan, sure the system will get better with time, its just a beginning and i think the way we as citizens can contribute is to register properly at NADRA and correct and update our own particulars if required.

  4. Mustafa says:

    I used the service and got instant correct information/confirmation back :-) However, it is suggested that sms containing a CNIC number should only be accepted from a sim registered to that CNIC number. This way it should be possible to also send any complaints/correct information back to ECP as it will be considered as factual/authentic and from the owner of that CNIC. Secondly, in case head of household uses his mobile phone for other members of his family, then sms to 8300 should contain two CNICs separated by commas – first that of head of household (which should match the CNIC of sim registration) and second of a family member (who can be verified from NADRA database as the family member of the head of household). This way the system can be more effective, abuse of privilege can be stopped and corrections can be done easily through the sms reply!

  5. naveed says:

    voting information is totally wrong. my half family members details were not included in the list and other have in jamshed town area where we never lived.

  6. ujjan jameel says:

    indeed,without any reservation eloquenteley i must say it works,in many ways a change in election scenario,there may be some errors but must be supported for more and enhanced reforms to our masses

  7. Ahmed says:

    Yes, A step in right direction. We must appreciate postives and must critise wrong doing wether it relates to politicians or public. I wish I could see how ‘educated’ our politicians are on ECP website.

    I am sure NADRA / ECP may have done their homework to guide people what to do if the address is wrong – visiting to an office might not be best of option as one can imagine how ‘efficient’ government people can be – at times.

    Another challenge is to bring our brothers and sisters in the rural areas into mainstream and I beleive we are not too far off. I may be mistaken.

    • iman says:

      my suggestion is that if sender sent the msg to 8300 and got information wrong so at the same time election commission should be provide service to complain lock to another complain registered number. And Election commission should be resolve the matter in due course of time. And this service must be provided on free of cost of every individual votor.

  8. jamal hasan says:

    An Excellent service provided by ECP , this would certainely bring fair elections in upcoming elections, no more rigging will take chance like it does for 60 years. FAIR Elections can only bring bring change in PAKISTAN.

  9. Aazim says:

    How can overseas pakistanis register to vote???

    • Asim says:

      From ECP website “Overseas Pakistanis who are present in Pakistan at the time of election can cast their vote at the polling station concerned if they are registered as voters. However, voting from aboard is not permissible under the law.”

  10. Imran says:

    Good service!

  11. Asim khan says:

    Not every one gives all detail to the tele service provider
    Thus can be forged.

    Our national identity card has an electronic bar on it’s back
    With a thumb print the scan of the bar and varification of the
    Thumb print will make sure who is voting without any dout a
    genuine voter will not object to the specificity .

    I don’t mind if this is published…

  12. amm says:

    Well for those whose address is wrong or they are registered on previous address, please go to display center of voters list near to your before 20th March. One can easily locate display station near to his access on ECP website. You will get two forms (form nr. 5 and 6) which you have to fill and handover to incharge of display center. Don’t forget to do it before 20th and yes you have to do this little effort of going ot Display center. Incase you are not registered any where , you have to fill form 4 at Display center.

  13. Dr. Tahir Awan says:

    Excelent service for verification. But ECP should make it possible to get the wrong entries corrected through the same medium(SMS) or through email.

  14. Kawish says:

    Its appreciable service either by Nadra or ECP .good job done .as per ecp they have managed voter list of 8million people there may be few mistakes but mostly results are correct .So Ecp should launch a helpline eithe via internet or call to rectify the problem before coming well as they must reduce the sms charge either to provide it full free or may b charge few rupees.because pakistani peoples are already paying so much taxes on telecom.

    Regards ,

  15. Secular Pakistan says:

    Democracy and voting is the only way forward. Pakistanis can take back their country from the feudal lords by becoming active in elections, protecting the media and the Judiciary. Well done!!! We have a long way to go.

  16. Asmat Ullah says:

    Excellent Job by ECP to the extent of SMS verifciation of voting.

    Whether the records are correct or not is a separate discussion and another user friendly system is the possible answer. Automation is the only way to ensure transperancy and avoiding any possible rigging in elections. As a general comment the where the addresses are not correct … everyone please rectify it as soon as possible as some body may be using identity and vote.



  17. Rizwan Rauf says:

    Yes i used the service and got the response in nano seconds and most importantly correct information was given. Though its a good effort but i want to make a comment that ECP has not clarified about the next steps to be taken by the citizen if they get incorrect information. i would suggest that whole verification system should outsourced to those companies who are specialized in conducting servays for big mulinational companies like AC Nielson etc. This will bring great trasnperancy into the System and also willl gain he confidence of Citizen of Pakistan.

    PTI Zindabad

  18. Ghayur says:

    This is something revolutionary and was long awaited, I used this service to check for my vote and found that it is in the correct constituency. ECP well done.

  19. Usman Bashir says:

    Spot on it worked for me and its indeed a very good initiative from the stone age ECP

  20. from ECP its a Nice Accomplishiment! that was long awaited.

  21. Taimur says:

    I used this service and I have found that my vote has been registered in Multan. I have never been residing in Multan. Even my ID card was not issued from Multan. I have reported it to ECP via email on their website but I am not sure whether I will get any reply as this email address is for general queries.
    SMS service is not sufficient if no corrective actions are taken. ECP should provide the contact information who should be contacted if such false data is observed.

    • Arshad says:

      Its quite a convinient thing they implemented.

      @all whose information is wrong, they should hurry up to the local election commission office and correct their data.

  22. Ali says:

    Yesterday i did this exercise and it was a shocking answer i got from the same SMS at 8300. The address is given for North Karachi and i do not have an address in CNIC for this given area. I am just confused as to why would i go to North Karachi to vote. This is a serious mistake as i would rather stay in the area mentioned in my CNIC.

  23. Arif Iqbal Khan Yousafzai says:

    I have used the service and to be honest I thought I will get a reply in an hour, but surprisingly it was quick and my data was correct.

    A lot of people have mobiles phones these days but I am not sure if they will want to spend Rs.2/msg. What I think should be done is that if there is someone who is educated and a bit well off he can check it for other people (with their consent of course).

    I was sending the text to ECP who already have my NIC, probably just a machine but still if someone was operating he he must have my data anyway. Stop bringing doubt into people mind.

    I think they should reduce the price or make it free and the party who have stakes should contribute.

  24. Suhbatkhan says:

    its a Gr8 step taken by NADRA in view of the changing times……………….No traditional rigging tactics to be performed by our politicians

  25. Syed Ahmed says:

    It is high time Pakistan resorts to electonic voting. It can be made secure. Also same day registration may also be considered as being practiced in many countries successfully.
    The main thing is that tolerance, honesty and discipline must be maintained. on Facebook on Facebook