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Apr. 25, 2018

New voting machines to be used in may 12 Iraqi election



SULAIMANI — Officials from the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) are touting a new electronic vote counting system that will deliver results within hours of the polls closing.

“The results will be announced in hours, not days,” Dr. Riyadh al-Badran, the Chief Electoral Officer of the Independent High Electoral Commission, said in a Reuters interview at the commission’s headquarters in Baghdad.

“We will have results that accurately reflect the will of the voters,” Badran said, adding that the new system significantly limits the possibilities of voter fraud.

The system is designed to work with the biometric ID cards that are being issues to voters in advance of the May 12 election. This system will replace hand-counting ballots and the emblematic ink stained fingers of the previous three elections since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Officials with the hope that this new, quicker system will be more reliable, prevent fraud, and eliminate the weeks of uncertainty that have typified past elections.

The system was designed by South Korean company Miru Systems, which cost $135 million and includes 70,000 devices spread through the country, according to Badran.

To cope with the several million internally displaced persons and refugees in the country, the commission has opened special polling stations for their use.

The elections of the Council of Representatives is seeing fierce competition between the Kurdish, Sunni, and Shiite blocs. According to the latest numbers from the Independent High Electoral Commission, 7,187 candidates from 188 parties and arranged into 27 electoral coalitions are vying to occupy 329 seats.