Final check for electronic card readers completed for Egyptian voters abroad

Hana Afifi , Friday 16 Oct 2015

Voting for Egyptians living abroad will take place on Saturday and Sunday

Egyptians abroad
An Egyptian man living in Jordan casts his ballot at the Egyptian embassy in Amman during the 2014 presidential elections (Photo: Reuters)

Electronic card readers that Egyptian voters abroad will use for attendance registration at embassies and consulates are now ready after the final technical checks were completed, the communications and information technology ministry on Friday. 

Voting abroad for the first phase of the parliamentary elections will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

The electronic cards readers predominantly aim at helping the Higher Electoral Committee (HEC) in issuing reports about the number of people who voted.

The card readers are used to check that the voter has not voted elsewhere and that they have the right to vote, using their passport or Egyptian ID card at the embassy or consulate, Rafaat Hindy, head of the communications and infrastructure department at the communications ministry and member of the Higher Electoral Committee's General Secretariat, told Ahram Online.

The communications and information technology ministry has prepared a "central information center at the Higher Electoral Committee (HEC) headquarters with serving machines, applications and network and security systems," according to a statement by the ministry.

The centre receives the information from the electronic card readers to check the voter's information and send back to the embassy or consulate information regarding the vote eligibility.

The information centre will also have screens that show the attendance percentages. It will be located in the HEC's technical headquarters at the State Information Service building.

Hindy said that 37 embassies and consulates that host 95 percent of voters abroad are now equipped with electronic card readers.

Egypt has 141 consulates and embassies abroad. Those that are not equipped with electronic card readers use computers instead, as the number of voters is not as high as in the 37 embassies and consulates where the ministry installed the readers.

The ministry has also equipped the HEC with screens that show live streaming of the voting process in 17 polling stations at embassies and consulates abroad, mainly in Gulf countries and some European countries like France England, Germany and Italy, where there are a higher number of voters.

In Egypt, 1500 polling stations will be equipped with electronic card readers, up from 200 in the 2012 presidential elections, according to the statement.

The electronic readers will be placed in around 14 governorates to give a sample of the voting data, Hindy said.

Technical support will be offered to the polling stations by National Post Authority workers.

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