Islamabad - As the deadline extended by the Election Commission of Pakistan for overseas Pakistanis to register as voters for I-voting in the upcoming by-election scheduled for October 14 expires today (Monday), only 6,319 expatriates have registered as voters in 37 constituencies.

A day earlier, the ECP extended the deadline for registration of overseas Pakistanis till 9 am on Monday to register as many voters as possible.

The commission had asked the overseas Pakistanis to take advantage of the extended time and ensure their registration so that they could vote in the upcoming by-election.

Data issued by the ECP reveals that so far, only 9,965 expatriate Pakistanis accessed the overseas system through the internet and created their accounts, and of them, only 6, 319 were registered as I-voters.

According to the ECP, as many as 364 complaints were received regarding internet voting registration system.

The number of the expats who have registered themselves as of September 15 is far less than potential 732,000 voters who are eligible to vote in the by-polls through the internet.

The ECP spokesperson earlier this week dismissed concerns expressed by various political leaders about I-voting, saying Nadra-designed system was fully transparent and secured. He said the number of overseas Pakistanis in electoral list of 37 constituencies was more than 5,20,000.  ECP would deliver new passports to overseas Pakistanis for casting their votes in by-elections.

The spokesperson added the commission will generate voting passport system for registered overseas Pakistanis on October 14 and all eligible voters could cast their vote during 8am to 6pm PST on the polling day. 

The ECP has already written a letter to Ministry of Foreign Affairs secretary to direct Pakistani missions abroad to educate overseas Pakistanis regarding the registration process and right of their vote in the by-elections in their respective constituencies.