Uff, so exciting, aapka first vote! If you’re confused about how to do it, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s a step-by-step guide for what you need to do on Feb 8 to cast a vote.
Step-I: See if you are eligible
You need to be
- A citizen of Pakistan
- 18 years of age
- Have an original CNIC
- Are not declared of unsound mind by a competent court
- A resident of your area.
Step 2:: Find your Polling station
To find out your constituency and polling station, text your CNIC number (without spaces or dashes) to 8300 — the only official code for the ECP.
You will receive an automated response with the name of the electoral area, block code, and serial number.
Step 3: Time to vote
Polling starts at 8 am on Thursday, Feb 8, and will typically end by 5 pm. Anyone who enters the polling station after the cut-off time will not be allowed to cast their vote so make sure you get there on time. Get it done as early as possible and enjoy the rest of the holiday.
Step 4: Dress comfortably and carry only CNIC to the polling station
On Feb 8, make sure to carry your original CNIC. Photocopies, duplicates, or any other document will not be accepted.
Another important thing to remember is that you will not be allowed to take your cell phone inside the polling station so best to leave it at home.
Step 5: Male-female segregation in a polling station
As you enter the polling station — men and women will enter separately — you will be checked by a security officer.
Step 6: Inside the polling station
- Once inside, look for a list that has voter names (your name) and designated polling booths on it. Go to the polling booth listed next to your name.
- You will meet the polling officer, who will ask to see your original CNIC.
- The polling officer will mark your thumb with ink to obtain your thumb impression on the electoral rolls as proof that you have exercised your right to vote.
- Then the assistant presiding officer will hand you two ballot papers: one for the national and one for provincial assemblies. You will stamp your thumb impression on the counterfoil.
- Make sure that the assistant presiding officer has signed on the back of each ballot paper as well as on the counterfoil. If this isn’t done, a polling agent can call your votes into question and have them cancelled during the counting process. Therefore, make sure your ballots are valid before you stamp them.
- Please remember that the green ballot paper is for the National Assembly, while the white ballot paper is for the Provincial Assembly.
- Head to the polling booth. It is usually placed behind a screen for privacy purposes. You will not be issued a replacement ballot paper, so before you head to the polling booth, make up your mind about who you are voting for. Once the paper has been stamped, you cannot change your decision.
Precaution: Do not attach any kind of object to the ballot paper. It will be rejected. Revealing your identity on the ballot paper will also result in the ballot papers being rejected.
Let the ink dry, and fold the ballot paper according to how you are instructed. The green paper goes into the box with the green lid, and the white paper goes into the box with the white lid.
Step 7: Go home and chill
As you step out of the polling station, get some snacks, head back home chill for the rest of the day, and be happy – you voted for the Pakistan you wanted. Now you have the right to complain!