SHOULD OVERSEAS PAKISTANIS HAVE A VOTE IN PAKISTAN? - On May 26, 2022, Pakistan’s National Assembly passed a bill to abolish election reforms passed by the government of former prime minister Imran Khan that gave overseas Pakistanis the right to vote through the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs). On May 27, the Senate officially passed the elections (amendment) bill, reversing EVM use and, in turn, overseas voting.
The use of EVMs has been much debated in Pakistani politics over the past decade. The skills needed to operate the untested machines led the current government to reconsider its country-wide launch. However, some argue that these amendments are intended to deprive overseas Pakistanis from voting in the upcoming general elections. Questions thus loom about whether overseas voters will regain their right to vote, either through the use of EVMs or other more reliable mechanisms.
The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and the Muslim American Leadership Alliance (MALA) hosted on Thursday, August 4 at 5:00 p.m. ET an in-person conversation about the history, politicization, and future of overseas voting in Pakistan.
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 08/04/22