Elections 2024: ECP official dispels fears of ‘EMS being hacked’


ISLAMABAD (APP): Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) IT Director, Khizar Aziz, dispelled the fears of ‘hacking Election Management System’ (EMS) in upcoming general elections 2024, saying that no public networks are being utilized for transmitting election results.

“Private networks will be employed for the purpose which eliminates concerns about the hacking of the EMS,” Aziz told a private news channel.

He highlighted that the EMS was equipped with special software, securely housed in the offices of 859 Returning Officers (RO), with the provision of four data entry operators, four laptops, and IT equipment.

Simultaneously, Aziz stated the EMS was also installed in the mobile phones of Presiding Officers (PO) who will capture an image of Form 45 and send it to the Returning Officer. In case of network issue, Form 45 will automatically deliver to the RO once a signal is restored.

He explained the process of Section 95, where the Presiding Officer is required to visit the RO’s office and display Form 45 on their mobile device. The form will self-lock on the Presiding Officer’s mobile, ensuring data integrity.

Elucidating the working of EMS, Khizer Aziz stated that during the creation of Form 47 the RO will verify that Form 45 is locked on the Presiding Officer’s mobile.

Computers in the RO office, he said will operate in three modes for national and provincial assemblies, conducting online data entry. In case of network disconnection, the software will seamlessly switch to an offline mode.

Regarding connectivity, he mentioned the existence of a third toll apart from online and offline modes.

The ECP IT Director said the Commission has improved the Result Management System from the previous version, ensuring a robust infrastructure connected via fiber optics. Where fiber optics are unavailable, satellite connectivity is utilized.

Zafar Iqbal Hussain, the Special Secretary of the Election Commission, added that Presiding Officers will display the results outside the polling stations.

He emphasized the importance of polling agents signing Form 45, reinforcing the commitment to transparency in the electoral process.

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