Full Implementation of E-Voting Plan Essential

Full Implementation of E-Voting Plan Essential

A lawmaker has called on organizers to hold future elections using e-voting machines, saying this is "the only safe, proper and indisputable" way of conducting polls.
Mohammad Kazemi, deputy chairman of Majlis Judicial Commission, expressed dissatisfaction with the delay in the widespread use of such machines in previous elections, noting that the plan has been under study for years but not yet carried out nationwide, ICANA reported.
Although for the city council elections, held last month concurrent with the presidential election, e-voting machines were used in some constituencies, he said, "That is not enough. We need to provide equipment and necessary training for staff to avoid technical hitches."
In the latest round of city council polls, e-voting machines were used in one-sixth of the polling stations across the country, numbering 11,000, to cover one-third of eligible voters. Security concerns had prevented e-voting in the last parliamentary polls in 2016.
President Hassan Rouhani's campaign organizers have asserted that three million more people could have voted in the May 19 presidential election had the process of casting ballots been streamlined. Polling was extended three times during the election to meet the "rush of voters", with many people queuing to cast their ballots when the authorities closed the polling stations at midnight.
Out of 56 million people eligible to vote, 73% or 41 million managed to cast their ballots. Rouhani secured 57% of the poll.
As per law, voting cannot be extended after midnight. The presidential, Majlis and Experts Assembly votes are overseen by the Guardians Council, while the organizer of all the elections is the Interior Ministry.
The parliamentarian reminded that both the government and Guardians Council are willing to hold the elections electronically, saying funds for mechanized elections have been envisaged in the sixth development plan (2017-22).
He expressed hope that the next round of Majlis elections, slated for 2020, will be held electronically in its entirety.


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