The Right to vote is a basic, fundamental right guaranteed to the citizens of Pakistan by Article 17 of the Constitution.
Under Article 17 of the Constitution (freedom of association), every citizen has the right to vote, which ensures participation in the governance of the country through representatives of his/her choice. For enrollment as a voter from an electoral area, and for eligibility to vote in the general elections, a person needs to fulfill the following criteria:
- Must be a citizen of Pakistan
- Must be at least 18 years of age (in January of the year in which the rolls are prepared)
- He must not be declared to be of unsound mind by any competent court
- He must be a resident of an electoral area
The Electoral Laws Ordinance of 2013 has made this right available to overseas Pakistanis as well. They can now get registered at the respective embassy‚ mission or consulate where they intend to cast their vote.
The general elections are conducted through a secret ballot. The voter marks or stamps the ballot paper in a screened-off booth, hidden from the view of the polling staff and any other individuals present at the polling station.