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Maldives electoral body allays concerns over e-voting

Mohamed Visham
13 June 2016, MVT 14:07
An electronic voting machine. Maldives is set to introduce e-voting for the next local council elections despite opposition concerns.
Mohamed Visham
13 June 2016, MVT 14:07

Maldives' electoral body on Monday quickly moved to allay concerns over its decision to use electronic voting in next year's local elections by insisting that the machines will be used in only three ballot boxes.

Opposition parties have continued to express grave concerns over the introduction of e-voting for the local council elections slated for January by accusing the government of trying to rig the elections.

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have continued to question the independence of the elections commission to ensure a free and fair elections.

Even if we use the machine to count the votes we would also do it manually. We won't keep the machine connected to the internet. So there is no chance of it being hacked

Commission member Ahmed Akram told Mihaaru on Monday that the commission had never considered using e-voting for the entire local council elections.

The commission had decided to use e-voting in only three areas, he added.

"We will decide on the areas after consultation with the political parties. We will also conduct public awareness campaigns before the elections," he explained.

Elections Commission also stressed that the introduction of e-voting would not bring much of a difference to the present voting system in the Maldives.

National identity cards of individual voters will be verified as before and ballot papers will be issued, he said.

The only difference would be the use of a machine to count the votes, Akram said.

"Even if we use the machine to count the votes we would also do it manually. We won't keep the machine connected to the internet. So there is no chance of it being hacked," Akram said.

According to Akram, there are a lot of systemic changes to be made before the country can adopt an e-voting system including bio-metric identity cards.

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