To-date turnout for presidential elections in US is low: Egypt's ambassador

Ahram Online , Monday 14 May 2012

According to Egypt's ambassador to Washington, the Egyptian expatriate voter turnout thus far is lower than that seen during the parliamentary elections

Egyptian expats see themselves as part of the 25 January revolution as many staged protests arround the world in solidarity with Tahrir sit-in, December 2011 (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian Ambassador to the United States Sameh Shoukri announced on Monday - four days after expatriates started voting ahead of the presidential elections - that the turnout so far is weaker than that seen during parliamentary elections in November 2011.

Less than six per cent of the registered residents in Washington DC cast their ballots during the first three days of the voting period for Egyptians abroad, which started on Friday, 11 May and will end on Thursday 17 May. In the event that no single candidate wins an outright majority, expat runoff voting will take place from 3 - 9 June.

Currently, 29,000 expat Egyptians in the US registered to vote, which is 7,000 more than those registered for the parliamentary elections. The number of registered Egyptian voters in Washington DC, noted Shoukri, is 6,267.

Voters in the US can cast their votes in the Egyptian embassy in Washington DC or consulates in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. Voting through mail is also an option.

There are between 6.7 million and 10 million Egyptians living and working abroad, according to the latest estimates. 586,000 expats have registered to vote in the current elections.

Egypt’s first post-Mubarak presidential poll is slated for 23 and 24 May, and if runoffs are necessary they will be held on 16 and 17 June.

Egypt's president is officially expected to be announced on 21 June.   

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