Unprecedented Surge in Voter Registration Ahead of Pakistan’s 2024 General Elections

Web DeskFebruary 2, 20243273 min
Unprecedented Surge in Voter Registration Ahead of Pakistan's 2024 General Elections

Pakistan is gearing up for its general elections on February 8, with a notable increase in registered voters reaching a record-breaking 128 million people, more than half of the nation’s total population. According to the “Electoral Rolls, General Election 2024” report by the Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen), this surge represents a significant growth of 22.5 million voters, including 12.5 million women, since 2018.

This surge positions Pakistan as the fifth-largest democracy globally, following India, Indonesia, the United States, and Brazil. Moreover, it marks the first time that Pakistan has registered more women voters than men between two elections. The current registered voters make up 53.2 percent of the total population of 241.49 million.

Also Read: Lower-Caste Hindus Break Barriers in Pakistani Politics Ahead of 2024 General Elections

While there are regional variations in voter-to-population ratios, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa boast ratios over 50 percent, whereas Balochistan lags behind with 36 percent of the population registered as voters. At the district and constituency levels, there are noticeable disparities, with some districts having over half of their populations registered as voters, while others, like Upper Kohistan and Kharan, have less than 30 percent.

A significant achievement highlighted in the report is the reduction of the gender gap in voter registration. The Election Commission of Pakistan, along with the National Database and Registration Authority and civil society, implemented special measures to enhance women’s participation in the electoral process. The initiatives have yielded positive results, narrowing the gender gap from 12.4 million (11.8 percent) in 2018 to 9.9 million (7.7 percent) in the final electoral rolls for the 2024 general elections.

Despite the overall progress, challenges persist, particularly in Balochistan, where the gender gap remains above 10 percent. Over half of the overall gender gap is in Punjab, followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Ongoing efforts are crucial to address these challenges and ensure greater inclusivity in Pakistan’s democratic process.

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