Nearly 1.67 million ballots excluded from vote count: FAFEN report

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ISLAMABAD: Nearly 1.67 million ballot papers were excluded from the count in the July 25 polls, a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) report found Saturday. 

The total number of excluded votes in the General Election 2018 exceeded those rejected in the previous election.

According to FAFEN, the number may slightly vary after the final consolidated result is released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The difference is likely to be caused as returning officers (ROs) will review ballots excluded from the count at the polling station level by presiding officers (POs).

Presiding officers can either exclude or count rejected ballot papers in favour of a candidate if excluded wrongly.

The increase in number of ballots excluded from the count was observed in all provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). Overall, the increase was recorded at around 11.7 per cent, FAFEN said.

In ICT, the number of ballots excluded from the count was more than double the rejected ballots in the region in General Election 2013, the report said.

An increase of around 40 per cent in the number of ballots excluded from the count was observed in Balochistan, 30.6 per cent increase in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), seven per cent increase in Sindh and 6.6 per cent increase in Punjab.