According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 55 percent of polling stations have been termed ‘sensitive’ for the upcoming general elections next year.
ECP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan said, while briefing the Senate Standing Committee, that around 55 percent of polling stations to be established are sensitive.
A ‘sensitive polling station’ usually refers to a voting site that is disputatious or requires more attention due to specific circumstances or factors that could become hurdles in a free and fair voting process.
A sensitive polling station could be one located in an area with a history of political unrest, violence, or security threats. In such cases, the voting process can be made free and fair by providing extra security by the caretaker government.
If a polling station is located in an area with a history of political unrest, violence, or security threats, it can be considered a sensitive polling station. On the other hand, if a polling station serves a vulnerable population, like elderly citizens or people with disabilities, it could also be counted as a sensitive polling station.
Similarly, if any polling station is located in remote or difficult-to-reach areas, it can also be considered sensitive because of logistical challenges.
“A total 91,809 polling stations will be established, of which 49,919 have been designated as sensitive or highly sensitive,” Omar Hamid Khan said.
The ECP secretary stated that 17,411 polling stations are highly sensitive, 32,508 are justly sensitive, and 41,809 are designated as ‘normal’.
Omar Hamid Khan also told the senate standing committee that there are 266 National Assembly constituencies and 593 provincial assemblies. He also observed that one million polling staff would be required for the general election next year.