ISLAMABAD: Almost five years after undertaking a controversial and flawed exercise of using magnetic ink to discourage fake votes, the country’s top electoral body is now weighing an alternative option to prevent bogus voting in the upcoming 2018 general elections.

The option, currently under consideration at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), provides using a voter’s identity card number for stopping fake voting.

The country’s top database authority has sent a proposal to the ECP, suggesting it not to publish the last three numbers of the 13-digit identity card in the final electoral rolls. The missing last three digits from the electoral rolls will make it impossible for the polling staff or others to fill out the identity card number column on the counterfoil of a ballot paper until the voter presents his or her CNIC.

The ECP officials claimed that the proposed option would “fairly minimise chances of bogus voting on the polling day” and “is a viable alternative solution to ensure transparency”.

The process would also make the verification of votes by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) convenient in case a post-poll controversy arose in any of the constituencies.

In case of dispute between the winner and the runner-up candidates, the verification of polled votes would be carried out through counterfoils.