Election Observation Report (Voting Process)

NA-260 (Quetta-Cum-Chaghi-Cum-Noshki)

This report is issued by Coalition for Elections and Democracy (CED) for observing the voting process at NA-260 (Quetta-Cum-Chaghi-Cum-Noshki). Total number of Registered voters in the constituency is 460202 including 274367 male voters and 185835 female vot-ers. Total number of polling stations set up in the constituency is 407 with 993 polling booths; 571 for male voters and 422 for female voters.

The CED teams initiated observation of the voting process right from the opening of the polling stations. Complete staff was present on all the sampled polling stations observed during the day.

The observers reported at the approach of the polling station that 65 % polling stations were not accessible for the voters with reduced mobility. Some of the polling stations were set up well above the ground level with no access roads leading to the building making it even more difficult for persons with disability to cast their votes. For instance, a polling sta-tion (# 235) in Sarangzai area was situated on a hill, far from the road and was totally isolat-ed and inaccessible for the persons with reduced mobility.

The voting process remained slow throughout the day indicating a low turnout. Though people had gathered in queues at 40% of the polling stations at the start of the day but this flow of the voters didn’t hold for long. Voting average per polling booth per hour remained 15 votes during the initial hour of the day but later on this average further declined. At 4:45 pm when the observers sent their last observations for the voting process the hourly aver-age for full day further declined to 12.7 votes.

The voting process generally remained calm during the day, observers from 70% of the sampled polling stations reported that no problems were observed in the vicinity of the poll-ing station. At polling station number 26 in Killi Ahmad Khanzai the observer reported un-rest at the polling station gate due to display of party flags by one of the major contesting parties. Largely presence of campaign material inside the polling stations was not reported however voters were seen inside the polling stations wearing caps that resembled party flags. Campaign material was seen within 200 meters of the 20% sampled polling station during the voting process. The campaign material included party flags, posters banners and stall of caps resembling party flags.

Presence of unauthorised persons inside the polling stations was also observed. At PS# 26, 28 uninvited security officials were seen while at PS# 235, 229, 231 and 32 uninvited secu-rity personnel as well as local officials were seen. The observers asked the presiding offic-ers (POs) about presence of uninvited officials at the said polling stations. All the POs con-firmed that they had not called these officials inside; they also replied in negative when in-quired whether they had asked any of these uninvited officials to leave the PS area. How-ever, the observers did not see any of the uninvited persons interfering with the work of the polling station staff.

Observers reported two incidents of lodging formal complaints at the sampled polling sta-tions during the time of their presence. Both the complaints were reported from the Killi Ahmad Khanzai area (PS#25 and 26) where one party complained to the POs about at-tempts to cast double or fake votes by other party. The observer also observed unrest and tension inside the polling station# 26 due to these incidents / claims.

The CED observation teams reported that presence of polling agents on the polling stations during the voting phase remained higher than the opening phase. JUI (F) and PKMAP de-ployed the highest number of polling agents covering 86% of the sampled polling booths. BNP and Peoples party representatives were present at 53% while PTI had presence of its polling agents at 60% of the polling booths. PML (N) and National party had the lowest presence at the sampled polling stations being 26% and 20% respectively.

When the CED observers asked the the POs if there was any essential material missing, two of them replied in yes. At polling station #135 the PO said that the stamps were not provided in adequate number and at PS # 229 the PO shared that some of the ECP forms were lacking in the packet issued to him.

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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