The Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs has been informed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that a door-to-door verification of voters in the country in preparation for the upcoming by-polls and the general election 2023 has revealed that four million people have passed away.

“More measures are also being taken to verify voters in coordination with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and improve the Results Transmission System (RTS) used in the elections,” the ECP secretary said during the standing committee’s meeting, chaired by Senator Taj Haider, on Friday.

Committee Chairman Senator Haider said, “When voters go to the polling stations to cast their votes, they find out that they have been declared dead on papers.”

Senator Azam Swati stressed that the electoral body should assure the people that their votes are being polled in the correct constituencies.

The ECP secretary said there were mistakes in the voter lists, which were being rectified. However, he added that it was a continuous process, and they were taking the help of NADRA for the purpose.

On complaints, he said, they conducted a door-to-door verification and confirmed 68 per cent of voters, as four million of them had passed away.

The secretary said that until people change their addresses upon leaving a locality, their votes would still be registered there.

“You tell us the solution, we will legislate,” said Swati. “Free and fair elections are your responsibility.”

The secretary said that the law states that the vote will be either at a temporary or permanent address.

Senator Kamran Murtaza wondered whether a voter could shift his/her vote as per wish.

Swati sought a solution to the problem from the electoral body.

The committee chairman said that the ECP should prepare a draft for legislation on the issue of voter lists.

The NADRA chief remarked that 92% of the people had the same temporary and permanent addresses.

The NADRA chairman said four million dead voters are being reconfirmed.

The secretary said that NADRA’s system has flaws as well.

Senator Dr Sania Nishtar said that they were raising questions while using the same system. She said that those who were declared dead by NADRA should be declared dead by the commission too.

She remarked that the ECP should work with NADRA.

Murtaza said that those who do not change their address should be fined.

The committee chairman said that the ECP should be ready for elections at all times.

The NADRA chief said that elections being held now use the old voter lists from 2018 and 2020.

Moving further, Haider remarked that Form 45 is the “life of election” but in the last general elections, thousands were not signed.

The ECP admitted that presiding officers sent Form 45 without signatures.

The chair asked for action against those who do it.

The electoral body said that they were working on improving the RTS, adding that they had also taken measures to reduce the gap between male and female voters.