Election officials count ballot papers at the end of polling in Quetta, Pakistan. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has developed a result compilation mechanism called Election Management System (EMS) for the 2024 general elections set to take place this week, The News reported Tuesday.

But how will this newly-prepared system function nationwide even in the absence of internet connectivity?

Here is the explanation provided by Col Muhammad Saad Ali, the project director of EMS, which will be utilised for result compilation and tabulation in the upcoming general elections.

“Our EMS is not internet-based but intra-net-based, which means we have developed a private network of the election commission that has been spread across the country, involving the services of PTCL and other firms," he said. 

He clarified that three laptops are made available for each provincial assembly constituency and four for each National Assembly constituency throughout the country.

When asked how the system would operate without internet access, he pointed out that if and when connectivity is lost, all these laptops will continue working in offline mode over the local area network (LAN) deployed in each returning officer’s (RO) office.

“One laptop will be dedicated to continuously displaying progressive results over multimedia for the public present in the RO office at a prominent place for live results to be received, allowing them to witness the compilation processes,” he said.

The presiding officer will send results to the returning officer by capturing an image and sharing it with the returning officer through mobile. The image will display the location where it was taken and the time.

“If there is no connectivity, the image will automatically be saved, and when connectivity is restored, it will reach its destination. If Form 45 cannot be submitted for some hours, the forensic data will be available,” he added.

According to Google, a local area network (LAN) is a collection of devices connected to one physical location, such as a building, office, or home.

A LAN can be small or large, ranging from a home network with one user to an enterprise network with thousands of users and devices in an office or school.

When asked if the system would be affected by a lack of electricity, he conceded that overall there would be no impact due to the laptop facility. However, connectivity can be impacted, and ROs have been instructed to arrange UPS, etc.

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