The Electoral Rolls 2007 that contained over 81 million voters were automatically replaced by the Final Electoral Rolls (FERs) in the light of the existing electoral laws after the EC on Tuesday announced the finalisation of FERs having over 84 million voters, according to officials at a provincial Election Commission.
The ECP's district wise break-up of new voters compiled in September last year shows, Pakistan's 122 districts (including Islamabad and tribal agencies and Frontier Regions in Federally Administered Tribal Areas)have 80,724,009 voters compared to 84,365,051 voters in FERs, thus showing an increase of 3,641,042 voters in 10 months. (The number of voters may have seen slight changes up till now). The District Electoral Rolls (DERs) break-up indicates, Karachi has highest number of 6,802,497 voters, compared to 4,260,256 voters in Lahore and 3,499,413 voters in Faisalabad. Punjab's 37 districts (Islamabad included in Punjab) have a total number of 47,054,149 voters compared to Sindh's 23 districts with 17,773,043 voters. The total votes of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's 25 districts (including adjoining Tribal Areas) are counted at 11,642,122.
Alarmingly, Balochistan with 30 districts has only 3,004,464 voters. The number of voters in FATAs all the seven tribal agencies is counted at 1,250,231. Following Lahore and Faisalabad, Rawalpindi is the third largest district in Punjab and fourth in Pakistan in terms of the number of voters counted at 2,596,527.
The combined number of voters in the twin cities (Islamabad and Rawalpindi) is 3249226 which is also the fourth highest voters number in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. Islamabad has 652,699 voters compared to its 604,802 voters in FERs showing a decrease of 47,897 voters.
This is so because thousands of settlers in the Federal Capital and its adjoining areas have got their votes registered in their ancestral towns. Gujranwala is another major City in terms of the voters number with 2,149,482 voters. In Sindh, Hyderabad has the highest number of 922,214 voters after Karachi, Khairpur has 776,283 voters followed by Sanghar's 751,755 voters. Peshawar leads the voters tables in KP with 1,381,110 voters, it is followed by Mardan having 917,033 voters and Swat with 882,113 voters. Quetta's 560,083 voters make it largest voters district in Balochistan. Jaffarabad has 206,882 voters while Lasbela stands third with 197,954 voters. FATA's Bajaur Agency leads voters tables with 295,278 voters followed by Khyber Agency's 268,738 voters and Kurram Agency's 214,092 voters.
Orakzai Agency has the minimum number of voters across Pakistan recorded at 12,092. Other districts with notably thin numbers of voters include Balochistan's Sherani district (28,205) and Kohlu (35,220). The break-up of the new voter lists shows, a highest number of 57 per cent voters are registered in Punjab, 22 per cent in Sindh, 14 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, only four per cent in Balochistan, two per cent in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and one per cent in Federal Area (Islamabad Capital Territory.)
The number of registered voters in FERs would keep rising till next general polls with the inclusion of fresh voters. As reported on Tuesday, the number of total voters in Punjab is 48,308,644, Sindh 18,432,877, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 12,064,597, Balochistan 3,278,164, FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) 1,675,967 and Islamabad Capital Territory 604,802. The respective number of males and female voters in each provinces: Punjab 27,297,361 (male) and 21,011,283 (female), Sindh 10,214,460 (male) and 8,218,417 (female), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 6,929,105 (male) and 5,135,492 (female), Balochistan 1,886,235 (male) and 1,391,929 (female), FATA 1,120,736 (male) and 55,523 (female) and Islamabad 325,795 (male) 279,007 (female).
Out of total male voters registered in FERs, 57 per cent are from Punjab, Sindh 21 per cent, KP 15 per cent, Balochistan four per cent, FATA two per cent and Federal Area one per cent. The same statistical break-up follows the respective percentages of female voters in all the four provinces, FATA and Federal Area.
In November 2009, the ECP and NADRA had started revising ER 2007 with the preparation of new voter lists using Unique Identifier technique that made Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) as prerequisite for the new electoral rolls.
Meanwhile, despite that the ER 2007 had the number of unverified voters having exceeded 37 million, those voter lists could not be declared as invalid in the light of Section 26 of the of the Electoral Rolls Act 1974. It states, "An Electoral Roll shall not be invalid by reason of any misdescription of a person enrolled thereon or of omission of the name of any person to be so enrolled or of inclusion of the name of any person not so entitled". Citing this article as basis, the Election Commission of Pakistan had stated last year that ER 2007 would remain intact till the finalisation of FERs this year.