With all the enthusiasm and excitement, knowing that the requirements for a voter are incomplete (I lost my original CNIC) I decided to try and vote! It was worth a try. So, I stood in the line for couple of hours and  I voted! It was indeed worth the try!

I have a few observations I would like to share of my experience of voting for the first time in General Elections.
After collecting all the required information (where to vote, constituency, polling station address etc.), I walked down to the polling station, which was conveniently a five minute walk from my home.

When I got to the polling station I noticed a huge line (200+ men) outside the building (a school) where my vote was to be cast. Rangers and police personnel were stationed outside polling station for security. This helped build some sense of security and control. Also present were a few political party camps. At these camps, political party workers were busy helping people find their serial numbers and guiding them on the voting process.

Inside the Polling Station

Halfway through the line – that started outside the polling station building – as I reached inside the building, I figured there are 9 polling booths in my polling station. The voters were divided as per their Block Code (also referred to as Book Number).
A lot of volunteers were present inside the building, guiding people to their respective polling booths.

I made my way to the relevant polling booth as per my Block Code/Book Number to find a relatively smaller queue. I noticed that one of the polling booths was closed because the ECP staff had not turned up.

Inside the Polling Booth

Polling Booth Setup

  • One official each on National & Provincial Assembly ballot book, a voter list (with visual identification and details)
  • One official with voter list to verify Silsila/Serial Number of a voter
  • One ECP official to oversee proceedings.

As I was about to be handed a ballot paper, an ECP official came in and redirected the remaining voters to the booth that was non-functional. Apparently, the missing staff had turned up. As per the voter list number (the Silsila Number/Serial Number) my name was in the newly operational booth. As I stood there in the queue waiting for my turn, I noticed the following which was more amusing than shocking or unexpected:

  • The 2 officials with National & Provincial ballot books were not trained at all (one of them mentioned it’s his first time doing this job)
  • The ECP official who was overlooking the proceedings was giving them hands-on training there and then.

The Voting Process


  • A voter in front of me was almost handed the wrong ballot paper
  • The official wrote Block Code instead of CNIC number in the designated section marked for CNIC on ballot paper
  • A voter was almost handed an empty ballot paper
  • Many people had their cellphones on them – no restriction whatsoever.

Finally it was my turn! I presented my CNIC copy, FIR copy of the lost CNIC and my Original Passport to the ECP official who allowed me to vote.

Had I not been vigilant; the fear of getting my vote wasted, the officials who were preparing the ballot papers would have really messed it up. I made sure I got the following right and made sure both officials did not to miss a thing.

  • They almost missed writing my Block/Book Code on the ballot counter slip.
  • Forgot to stamp and sign the back of both NA & PS ballot papers
  • Forgot to get my thumb impression on the voter list with visual ID
  • Forgot to ink my thumb with the non-erasable ink after I cast my vote

Finally, I made my way to the private booth where voters can stamp their votes in complete secrecy. Stamped the ballot paper, cast my vote and voila, that was it!

There was no influence, fear or pressure of who I’m voting for. I had all the privacy I needed to stamp my choice.

Felt proud being part of something as big as this. I encourage all to go and vote until the voting time is available. DO. VOTE!