Smart ID Cards for E-Voting

Smart ID Cards for E-VotingSmart ID Cards for E-Voting

Smart national ID cards will be used for electronic voting in the upcoming parliamentary election. The cards will be issued from January 21 and the distribution will be completed in two weeks time.

The fundamental reason for issuing smart cards for the Majlis election is to ensure a credible, transparent, free and fair polling, said Alireza Avaei, head of the National Organization for Civil Registration (NOCR) during a meeting at the Election Commission.

Avaei pointed to the 200,000 new voters who have registered so far to swap their national identity cards for smart cards.

“There are still 3 million eligible voters who are yet to apply for the new cards” he said, and called for registration of all eligible voters to get their smart national cards prior to the election date. The NOCR is ready to respond to any request 24/7, he said, IRNA reported.

The NOCR which is affiliated to the Ministry of Interior is the main authority in issuing the Iranian ‘shenasnameh’ (birth certificate) or identification documents.

The current ID booklets are being replaced with smart national cards as part of an ambitious e-governance plan.

The smart cards hold information regarding the identification of the individual, including name, family name, date and place of birth, photo of the person and biometric data of the owner (fingerprint).

The new cards are the key to electronic government and help ensure services can reach people in an easier, faster and efficient way.

Electronic identification is also less prone to fraud and cheating as to use the card, the holder must be present so that the fingerprint is match with the one saved on the card.

  Online Mechanism

The identity of the voters is verified during the elections by an online mechanism which connects the voting centers to the electoral commission. The information in the card is kept coded so as to prevent illegal usage.

According to the head of the Election Office, Ali Pourali, a program has been designed to prevent electoral fraud in the upcoming election, under which all ballot papers are coded with a 14-digit number. Even the coding and coloring of ballot papers vary among constituencies of different provinces making it fool-proof and “there is no way of impersonation or fraud in the vote.”

Parliamentary elections will be held on February 26, 2016 to elect both the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) and the Assembly of Experts. Electronic voting will be conducted in nine cities including Tehran, Tabriz, Mashhad, Karaj, Shiraz, Kermanshah, Ahvaz, Isfahan and Qom.