x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Al Ain: Busiest voting centre

Voter turnout in Al Ain appears to be highest in the country.

AL AIN // The Oasis City appears to have had the highest turnout of voters today, according to the head of the Al Ain election centre.

Dr Ali Salem Al Tunaiji made the claim after having conversations with the heads of other election centres.

"We will not know for sure until later tonight," said Dr Al Tunaiji. "But from what I understand after speaking with the heads of all the other centres in the UAE, Al Ain was the busiest voting centre throughout Abu Dhabi and possibly even the UAE."

Dr Al Tunaiji did not have specific numbers this afternoon, but said the figures, which are being compiled electronically in Abu Dhabi from all the voting centres, would be made public shortly after voting ended tonight.

A list of winners will also be announced by Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs.

Aziz Homoud Al Amri, head of all the UAE's election centres, was in Al Ain today and said that the large numbers of voters that turned up this morning was unexpected.

Dr Al Tunaiji said that voters who did not know how to use the electronic voting terminals caused them to crash this morning.

"Voters were supposed to watch a demonstration of how to use the machines before voting, but many didn't," he said. "Many assumed the machines were broken, but they were not. They were just in sleep mode. But when those who didn't know how to use them kept putting in and pulling out their identification cards and kept pushing buttons, they crashed the computers."

Mr Al Amri said that the printers also did not print out hard copy ballots for voters to put in the ballot boxes as they had also gone into sleep mode. A number of voters who failed to receive a receipt after voting were left unsure whether their votes were counted or not.

Mr Al Amri said their votes would be counted.

"Whether the paper was printed or not is irrelevant," he said. "All votes entered into the computer system by the voters will be registered."

 

ealghalib@thenational.ae