Election Observation Preliminary Report (Opening)
NA-120 (Lahore III)
Sunday (September 17, 2017)
This is a preliminary report issued by Coalition for Elections and Democracy (CED) for observing the election process at NA-120 (Lahore III). Total number of Registered voters in the constituency is 324786 including 179642 male voters and 142144 female voters. Total number of polling stations set up in the constituency is 220 including 39 polling stations with biometric verification. There are 102 male polling stations, 99 female whereas 19 polling stations are combined. This report presents the observation of the opening process of polling in the constituency.
The observation teams reached the designated polling stations at 7:30 am to observe the preparedness of the poling staff and the opening process of voting at the polling stations. At most of the sampled polling stations the polling staff cooperated with the observation teams. However at polling station #84 (Shining High School St # 4, Amin Park, Lahore) entry was denied to the observer despite the fact that observer was in possession of ECP accreditation card.
At the approach of the pooling stations the observers noted the environment outside the polling station. 22 % polling stations had queues of voters outside the gate before opening of the voting. Observers reported that campaign material and campaign activity was seen outside 45% of the polling stations. Presence of party camps near the polling stations was also observed.
The polling staff was present on the sampled polling stations at the starting time of the voting process. It was observed that female staff had been deputed on the polling booths designated for the females.
Starting time of the polling is 8 am however 77% of the sampled polling stations started late with delay of 11 to 30 minutes; major cause of delay was unpreparedness of the polling staff. At one polling station the delay was caused due to unrest outside the polling station. The polling station lay out at the start of the polling was not found suitable for 45% of the polling stations.
Essential polling material i.e ballot boxes, secrecy screens, seals, indelible ink, voters’ lists etc was present at all the polling stations. All the polling stations had sufficient number of ballot papers. The presiding officers at the sampled polling stations told the observers that ECP had provided them adequate number of ECP forms, envelops and the tamper evident bags to document the polling information and preserve the polling material.
The polling staff carried out the opening procedures at 100% of the sampled polling stations (where the observers entry was allowed), the empty ballot boxes were shown to the polling agents and sealed in their presence. The polling started at all polling booths in presence of the poling agents from major political parties. The CED observers were allowed to observe the opening process without any restrictions.
Though major parties have tried to deploy their polling agents at polling stations but a lot of polling booths still lacked presence of some of the major parties’ polling agents. An analysis of preliminary data available at the starting time of the polling shows that PML(N) had maximum presence with polling agents deployed at the sampled polling booths. While JI has the lowest presence (among major political parties) of polling agents at the sampled polling booths.
The observers also reported presence of unauthorized persons inside 45% of the sampled polling stations. At polling station #184 (Govt Staff Training Collage Dave Samaj Road Sanat Nagar Lahore) uninvited security personal were seen. At polling station #116 Rana Girls High School Shumshi St. Ibrahim Road, Lahore uninvited security personnel and local officials were seen inside the polling station. The Army officials were reported to apparently interfering in the work of PS staff in these two polling stations
The observers reported their satisfaction about cooperation of the PS staff. At 90% sampled polling station the observers were allowed to observe the opening procedure without restriction. The opening process was carried out in front of the party representatives and no restriction to that effect was observed by the observers.
Coalition for Election and Democracy
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