Election Observation Report PS114 (Voting)

This report is issued by Coalition for Elections and Democracy (CED) for observing the vot-ing process at PS 114 – Karachi XXVI. Total number of polling stations set up in the constit-uency is 92 with 368 polling booths. The CED teams initiated observation of the voting pro-cess right from the opening of the polling stations.

The observation at the approach of the polling station revealed that 60% polling stations had queues outside the premises. A large number of polling stations (83%) were not acces-sible for the voters with reduced mobility. Some of the polling stations were on the first floor making it even more difficult for persons with disability to cast their votes.

The voting process remained slow at the start of the day with average of 53 votes casted per polling station in the first hour of the polling. These statistics improved later during the day and by 4:30pm the average of the votes casted per polling station reached 75 votes per hour.
The voting process generally remained calm during the day. However, at polling station number 86, 79 and 90 incidents of unrest and violence were reported. No incidents of cam-paign material inside the polling station were reported however campaign material includ-ing, banners, posters and party flags was seen within two hundred meters outside the poll-ing stations at many places.

Presence of unauthorised persons was also observed at few polling stations; three such incidents were reported in a sample of 25 polling stations. At a polling station in Malir Govt. Girls Secondary School KAECHS block 4 (combined), party office bearers were seen inside polling station while in another polling station uninvited po-lice officials were seen.

The observers reported two incidents of serious nature outside the polling stations during poling hours. However, poling activity continued without any hindrance. In both cases peo-ple told that a party was trying to buy votes. Both the incidents happened in Chanesor vi-cinity.

Observers noted that the parties and the polling staff did not show inclination towards mak-ing formal record of the violations. None of the parties / candidates lodged formal com-plaint of the untoward incidents to the presiding officer. Polling staff also did not have any record of these incidents in their documents. This was revealed when the CED observes asked the presiding officer about any formal complaint being lodged by the parties or any action taken by the presiding officer against anyone during the voting process.

Presence of polling agents on the polling stations during the voting phase remained little higher than the opening phase. The CED observation teams reported that polling agents were present at all polling booths. However, Jamat-i-Islami had the highest number of de-ployment of polling agents covering 93% of the polling booths during the voting process whereas JUI (F) remained the lowest deployer of the polling agents with covering only 13% polling booths. PPPP, MQM, PML(N) and PTI deployed their polling agents at 90%, 89%, 82% and 72% polling booths respectively during the voting process.

The observers reported complete attendance of polling staff at the sampled polling stations during the voting process. Gender sensitivity in deployment of the polling staff by the ECP was observed by the CED team and all the female booths were reported to have female polling staff, however majority of the presiding officers were male.

The security situation generally remained in control of the law enforcement agencies and no major law and order situation came up at the sampled polling stations during observation.

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