ISLAMABAD   -  The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is feared to shift large number of its registered voters to their permanent addresses after December 31 if they fail to reconcile addresses mentioned in their computerised identity cards (CNIC) and the places where vote is currently registered.

The ECP has asked the voters to make sure their votes are registered either at the present or permanent addresses mentioned in their CNICs. As per new election laws, a person shall be deemed to be resident of an electoral area mentioned in the CNIC. This can be either the temporary or permanent address given in the CNIC.

The development follows an interim ECP’s decision to add a sub clause to the provision clause 27 of the elections act, 2017 to hold impeding general elections in 2018, which is set expire on December 31.

On expiry of this time period, if all voters registered in electoral rolls at the addresses other than the ones given in their CNICs fail to meet the deadline they would be struck off and shifted to their permanent addresses. Despite repeated advisory being issued by the ECP to the registered voters to use Form-21 to declare their changed address but there seems to be a lukewarm response from the voters so far.

These forms are available on the ECP website or can be obtained from the office of district election commissioner in every district throughout the country.

The law, however, exempts government servants giving them option to get registered in the area of their current posting.

All such voters who would need to change their address would have to submit duly filled form-21 with the office of district election commissioner in person or through their authorised representative.

The ECP had registered a total of 105.95 million voters in the country in the final electoral list for the July 2018 general elections compiled by the election authorities.

Among them are 59.2 million male and 46.7 million female voters, showing an ever-increasing gender gap of over 12.5 million.

Punjab, the biggest province in terms of population and number of seats in the National Assembly, has 60.6 million registered voters – 33.67 million among them are male and 26.99 are female voters.

In Sindh’s 22.39 million registered voters, 12.43 million are male and 9.95 million are female voters. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has 15.31 million voters, having 8.7 million male and 6.61 million female voters in the new updated electoral rolls.

In Balochistan, there are 4.2 million voters – 2.4 million among them are male and 1.8 million female voters.

Fata has 2.5 million voters – 1.5 million male and one million female voters, while Islamabad Capital Territory has 0.76 million voters. Among those 407,463 are male and 357,885 are female voters.

As many as 110 political parties had enlisted with ECP to take part in July 25 general elections. As per the Elections Act 2017, new parameters were prescribed for enlisting political parties setting some conditions to qualify for registration.