Election Observation Report (Counting Process)

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

This report is issued by Coalition for Elections and Democracy (CED) for observing the closing and counting 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 voters. 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 official closing time of the polling is 5pm. The CED teams made sure to enter the sampled polling stations before the closure of voting process. While entering the polling stations for observation of the closing and counting process the observers also reported about the situation outside the polling stations. It was observed that party workers had gathered in sizeable numbers at around 50% of the sampled polling stations before start of the counting process. At the time of closing no queues of voters were seen outside the polling stations to vote.

All the sampled polling stations closed on the official time i.e 5pm. The polling staff started the closing process immediately and the counting started within 10.5 minutes of the closing at average. The counting process took 42.5 minutes on an average to complete at the sampled polling stations.

Undue haste in the closing and counting process at the sampled polling stations was seen. The observers reported that on at least 50% of these polling stations the polling staff neither counted the counterfoils to tally with the number of ballots in the ballot box nor did they count the total number of ballots in the ballot box before sorting them. At majority of the sampled polling stations the polling staff sealed the ballot boxes at the time of closing however at PS#24 the staff did not close and seal the slit of the ballot box at the end of the voting process. The staff on the same polling station neither showed the choice on the ballot papers to polling agents and observers nor did they announce the choice aloud. Counting of 201 ballots was wrapped up in just 15 minutes at PS#24, reported the observer. However, the CED observers noted that the polling staff was careful in handling the invalid ballots and at all sampled polling stations the presiding officer showed the ballot papers to the polling agents and observers before declaring them invalid. At the same polling station, the presiding officer did not completely fill the ECP forms in presence of the polling agents except the form 14 and the polling agents and observers were asked to leave the polling stations so that the staff could compile the remaining forms. At PS #66 also, the observer reported that the polling staff did not give a second count to the sorted ballots, indicating haste on the part of the PS staff.

At majority of the polling stations no unauthorised persons were seen during the counting process, however, at PS#231 uninvited security personal were seen inside the polling station. One incident of overcrowding and mismanagement affecting the counting process was also reported by the CED observer from PS#131.
Presiding officers of 75% sampled polling stations pasted the result outside the polling station for the information of the general public. However, on all the sampled polling stations the presiding officers gave copies of the result (form 14) to the poling agents.

The observers noted that during counting process no representatives of the candidates lodged formal complaints at the sampled polling stations.

The polling staff cooperated with the CED observers during the counting process. All the observers were allowed to sit in the counting room without any restriction. The presiding officers of all the sampled polling stations answered all questions related to counting process and shared details of the vote count with observers.

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