PESAWHAR/Islamabad - The Election Commission of Pakistan will use electronic voting machines in 35 polling stations in the by-elections on NA-04, Peshawar on experimental basis.

The by-election is scheduled to be held today (Thursday).

The electronic machines have been provided by an international firm, which is also providing similar machines to other countries to bring electoral transparency. The objective of using these machines in NA-04 is to assess the difficulties of voters while using the machines and to remove these in future elections, the ECP said. The voters will cast their votes in 20 seconds through the electronic machines to be used under Section 103 of the Election Act 2017. The district returning officers and returning officers will brief the users how to cast their votes.

The election commission has sent election material to NA-04 under army supervision while section 144 has been imposed on use of mobile phones inside the polling stations. The army officers are distributing election material to respective polling stations.

To thwart any untoward incident in the city, huge contingent of police have been deployed while public holiday has been announced for today (Thursday).

It is to mention here that NA-4 fell vacant after the death of PTI MNA Gulzar Khan. After the death of Gulzar, his son Asad Gulzar joined Pakistan People Party and was allotted ticket to contest election on NA-4. Other contenders include Arbab Amir Ayub of PTI, Nasir Khan Musazai of PML-N, Khushdil Khan of ANP, Farooq Jan Advocate of Jamaat-e-Islami, Dr Shafiq Ameeni, Independent, Zia-ur-Rehman, Independent, Dr Mubashir, Independent, Waheed Alam, Independent, Samiullah, Independent, Liaqat Ali Khan, Independent, Amanullah Khan Afridi, Independent, Farhan Qadeer, Independent and others.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will use 100 electronic voting machines (EVMs) for polling in NA-4 by-election.

The ECP will deploy 269 presiding officers, 837 assistant presiding officers and as many polling officers on the polling day. The ECP has declared 182 polling stations highly sensitive and 87 sensitive.