After a successful meeting, NADRA has finally agreed to provide its data for use in elections for biometric verification of voters. While this is definitely a step forward in isolating authentic votes from fake ones, it will only take place with certain security checks. The decision came as a result of approval given by the sub-committee of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms. A hardware security module proposed by NADRA for use in offline verification of voters during polling has been approved that will improve polling.
Previously, citing concerns about data security, NADRA was hesitant in providing the data. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had earlier voiced concerns over difficulties in the use of electronic voting machines, voters’ biometric verification and voting by overseas Pakistanis as well. But now it seems that following the directive from the parliamentary committee, NADRA is ready to proceed with biometric verification of voters and their data with adequate security safeguards in place.
Manufacturing of the module has been agreed upon, and as a security measure, data of voters for each polling station will be kept safe in separate machines running encryption software. Any attempt to make changes or copy that data will result in the immediate purging of the information.
What Does This Mean For The Future Of Conducted Elections?
While it will take a while to get everyone onboard this method of casting votes, we believe that an electronic voting medium is far more secure and accurate in keeping a proper tally of votes in the system. We have all heard about reports of vote discrepancies (rigging), and an electronic voting system will go along long way in addressing these concerns by keeping proper checks and balances in voting in each and every district where these machines are utilized.
It is very difficult to tell how successful the new measure will be at this current time primarily because the hardware is going to be manufactured on a mass scale, along with developing sophisticated software that secures and keeps an accurate check on the casted votes. However, the day might not be far when we will be able to view fair contested elections in every district of the country.