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