ISLAMABAD: A delegation of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday met Ambassador of Brazil to Pakistan Olyntho Vieira to learn about the Brazilian experience of using electronic voting machines (EVMs) and on internet voting.
Headed by Secretary Umar Hameed Khan, the ECP delegation informed Mr Vieira about the use of technology in elections in the light of recent amendments to the law, conducting pilot projects on EVMs/ biometric voting machines (BVMs) and i-voting for overseas Pakistanis by the commission over the past few years.
Mr Khan explained that the ECP has been making concerted efforts to acquire the new technology and this requires following international best practices and standards.
During the meeting possible areas of cooperation identified
However, he said that inherent challenges for acquiring the technology have to be surmounted where countries like Brazil presented a success story in this regard.
“ECP would like to benefit from the experiences of Brazil which shares numerous electoral and demographic similarities with Pakistan,” he added.
During the meeting, areas of cooperation such as technical visits, exchange of experts, sharing technology, training and capacity building of the officials of the ECP were identified.
The Brazilian ambassador briefly discussed with the ECP delegation the gradual introduction of technology in the electoral process, especially use of EVMs, in Brazil where it evolved over a period of 30 years along with its main features, operations and functions during the elections.
He offered support to the ECP in the areas of selection of technology, training and provision of experts, along with transfer of technology in elections. He said that in Brazil voting is compulsory for people up to 70 years of age. A fine is imposed for not participating in the election.
The ECP secretary and the Brazilian ambassador agreed to work closely on the use of technologies and formalise relations on the issue between the two countries. They agreed to institutionalise different components of EVMs and BVMs.
The EVM was first introduced in Brazil in 1996, with the first test carried out in the state of Santa Catarina.