Elections and related democratic processes have never been counted as strengths of Pakistan. In the run-up to polling - scheduled for this Wednesday, there have been a number of incidents which have attempted to undermine democracy here. From targeting political figures and terrorist strikes to representatives of terrorists fielding themselves as electoral candidates, this year's elections in Pakistan has seen all the ups and downs of a crime thriller.
Nonetheless, the country's Election Commission has continued in its endeavour to conduct free and fair polling to the extent that is possible and recently issued guidelines for voters when they arrive at booths to cast their votes.
The EC outlined that a ballot paper would be deemed invalid if it is missing the official code mark or assistant presiding officer's signature. Also, if the EC's watermark is missing, if the official nine-matrix seal is absent or if anything is attached to the ballot paper, it would be deemed invalid. Stamps on more than one candidates name too qualifies the ballot paper to be deemed invalid.
Previously, the EC also outlined actions that would be considered criminal on day of voting and it included forcefully evicting a voter from the polling station, attempting to influence a voter in any way, use of force or violence, issuing threats, abduction, possessing firearms or any dangerous object and taking pictures of ballot paper.