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FAFEN begins publishing ambitious parallel vote tabulations
Islamabad: With the release of successful Parallel Vote Tabulations PVTs in six National Assembly NA constituencies NA26 Bannu Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, KP, NA110 Sialkot-I, NA117 Narowal-III and NA161 Sahiwal-II Punjab, and NA219 Hyderabad-I and NA223 Tando Allahyar Sindh Free and Fair Election Network FAFEN began publication of the largest PVT effort undertaken anywhere around the world, based on vote counts gathered by more than 41,000 trained and accredited observers in a statistical sample of polling stations in each of 272 NA constituencies.
All PVT results, as they are completed, will be available on FAFEN’s election web portal, http://www.electionpakistan.org/. ECP official election result data will be added to each PVT as it becomes available.
PVTs provide the expected election result in each constituency “parallel” to the official result calculated by the Election Commission of Pakistan ECP. If the official result differs from the PVT result, election administration officials, political parties and candidates should investigate further to determine if there has been any error or fraud in calculating or consolidating the election result. PVTs also can be used in formal petitions to Election Tribunals to dispute any constituency election result.
An example of Na110 is provided below, with Khwaja Muhammad Asif of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz PMLN winning the seat with a margin of 11.3%, and Muhammad Usman Dar of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf PTI in second place.
PVT’s do not reveal other kinds of electoral fraud or irregularities in polling stations. Such factors will be revealed by detailed, objective checklists being submitted by 41,000 FAFEN observers about the Election Day process of voting, ballot counting, vote counting, and vote consolidation.
For example, FAFEN issued a press release earlier on Election Day about observer reports that women were not being allowed to vote in several constituencies in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa KP. FAFEN reiterated its strong recommendation that ECP must not certify election results in any National or Provincial Assembly constituency where women in any polling area were barred from voting.
FAFEN’s second press release on Election Day pointed to other procedural irregularities that could affect the validity of the election results, such as violence at polling stations and barring FAFEN observers from witnessing procedures at polling stations. FAFEN will issue a more detailed statement on Sunday, May 12, regarding such issues, followed by full, substantive election process reports in the coming weeks and months.
PVTs are based on a statistically valid sample of registered voters in an average of 30 polling stations in each constituency. The vote counts votes for each candidate from a statistical sample of polling stations are extrapolated to reflect the expected outcome of the electoral race in that constituency.
With 86,162,639 registered voters and 69,801 polling stations, according to the ECP, there is an average of 316,774 registered voters in each of 272 constituencies and an average of 1,234 voters eligible to vote in each polling station in Pakistan. A sample of 30 polling stations, on average, therefore represents 37,020 voters, or 11.7% of the electorate for each constituency. Statistically, this 11.7% is more than adequate to represent the full constituency.
Following the 2008 General Election, FAFEN also published more than 240 PVTs, based on data from more than 18,000 observers. It was the first such effort in Pakistan.
FAFEN’s observations and recommendations are made with all due respect for the ECP and for all political parties, candidates and other participants in the election process. FAFEN’s goal is to document its observations for the consideration of voters and all election stakeholders and to make recommendations towards the improvement of future elections in Pakistan.