Over 1.5 million women overseas voters can change the dynamics of elections in 11 cities of Pakistan if the newly proposed law gets parliamentary cover.
According to a Geo News report, a majority of these female overseas voters (1.1 million) are registered in 227 provincial and national assembly constituencies of 16 key districts, including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Islamabad, Jhelum, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Attock, Multan and six districts of Karachi.
Statistics suggest that their role will be even more vital in the elections of Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi elections, as more than 0.7 million voters belong to these four cities, comprising 42 seats in the National Assembly and 62 seats of Sindh and Punjab assembly constituencies.
Out of 8.4 million total registered voters, Karachi has more than 0.3 million potential politically active overseas women voters registered in 21 NA constituencies in six districts.
Similarly, Islamabad has 57,953 potential overseas voters who could swing the results in its three NA constituencies.
In Punjab, Rawalpindi, Gujrat, and Lahore are a few Punjab districts where the women voters can make a difference. These districts have 0.214 million, 0.141 million, and 0.118 million potential voters, respectively. The total number of votes registered in these districts is 5.9 million in Lahore, 3.2 million in Rawalpindi, and 2 million in Gujrat.
Meanwhile, Jhelum, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Attock, and Multan have between 23,000 to 68,000 potential overseas female voters, who are less likely to have any major impact on results.
Voter turnout is a key factor that decides the election-day contests. Since most overseas voters are politically active, their participation could make a difference on polling day. Another important factor is how closely fought are the constituencies where they are present in large numbers.
Furthermore, official figures show that over 2.2 million overseas NICOP holders have their roots in KPK, 2.1 million male and 0.12 million women overseas voters are registered with the NADRA. Similarly, 137,155 male and 35,274 female overseas voters are registered from Balochistan.