To transmit the poll results in General Elections 2018, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will use Results Transmission System (RTS) which is an Android-based mobile application
Results Transmission System pilot testing has been successful. It was tested in NA-4, Peshawar and PS-114, Karachi by-election in 2017. In the pilot project, the presiding officers entered the voting result in the application along with FORM XIV picture with the mobile application. The data was transmitted to ECP.
For many months ECP has been working with National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and telecom operators to find a solution. RTS is the solution that will improve transparency in the election results as the mobile app will generate the real results with complete authenticity.
An ECP official said, “It would also help in discouraging unofficial results announcements by electronic media as the commission would be able to provide election results in real time.”
The biggest challenge was seamless connectivity for which ECP took help from Pakistan Telecommunication authority. The officials said that there are almost 100,000 polling stations all over Pakistan. In most of the areas 3G, 4G connectivity is available except a few remote areas. But even in those areas, mobile data signals can be found if you travel a few kilometers.
An additional Rs1,000 will be given to the POs who will help in transferring the voting results to Election Commission of Pakistan through RTS. It will also encourage POs to use their own phone to transfer the data. There was a proposal to acquire 100,000 smartphones for this project but due to financial issues, it was dropped.
For the counting, arrangement, compilation, transfer, and dissemination of the voting, a transparent result management will be established. The presiding officer will take picture of the count and send it to the commission and the returning officer. Returning officer will compile the results after the voting is done and then the results are sent to the Commission electronically.