Election Observation Preliminary Report (Counting Process) PP-20 (Chakwal-I)

Tuesday (January 9, 2018)

This report is issued by Coalition for Elections and Democracy (CED) for observing the counting process of by-election at PP-20 (Chakwal I). Total number of Registered voters in the constituency is 279530 including 144191 male voters and 135339 female voters. Total number of polling stations set up in the constituency is 227 with 814 polling booths, 421 for male voters and 393 for female voters. This report presents the observation of the closing and counting process of polling in the constituency.

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. However, at the Polling Station # 24 Government Girls Elementary School Fim Kassar and at polling station # 170 Government High School Muhammad Ali Chakwal (Combined) security official didn’t allow the team to enter the polling station and observe the counting process however the presiding officer handed over copy of form XIV to the observers after the end of counting process but the presiding officer of Polling Station # 24 didn’t share the copy of result to the team waiting outside the polling station # 170.

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 there were no voters waiting outside of the polling station to vote.

The observers reported that 100 % of the sampled polling stations closed on time. The polling staff started the closing process immediately and the counting started within 10 minutes of the closing at average. The voters waiting to vote inside the polling station were allowed to vote.

The observers reported a number of discrepancies in closing process. ECP staff at 14% polling stations did not count and record the number of un-used ballot papers immediately after start of closing process, pending it till final filling of forms towards the end of the counting process. Teams of Observers reported that at 57 % of the sampled polling stations seals of the ballot boxes were damaged before opening. Observers reported from 14% polling stations that the polling staff did not cross check the number of ballots cast against the number of signatures on the counterfoil I.e. issued ballot papers. Observers reported that that at 29% of the polling stations the polling staff did not perform the crosschecks of the data for mathematical consistency. Observers reported that at 57% of the polling stations that counting process was seriously hampered by overcrowding.

CED observers reported that at 22 % of the sampled polling stations the presiding officers did not paste the result outside the polling station for the public. At 67 % of sampled polling stations the presiding officers provided copies of the result (form XIV) to the poling agents.

The observers noted that during counting process no formal complaint was lodged at 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 except for two polling station already mentioned above. 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.

About CED: CED is a civil society coalition for voter education, election observation and strengthening democratic institutions. Its secretariat is based at CPDI

Coalition for Election and Democracy

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