x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

FNC rejects electronic voting

FNC members reject electronic voting system, opting instead for the traditional paper and ballot box.

ABU DHABI // A new electronic voting system was rejected yesterday by FNC members in favour of the more traditional system of paper slips and ballot boxes.

Members were required to elect two council monitors as three people had applied for the posts.

FNC Speaker Mohammed Al Murr suggested that members use a new e-voting programme designed by the council’s general secretariat, but his request met with resistance.

Ahmed Al Shamsi (Ajman) was first to ask to cast votes on paper, reasoning that members were “not used to the electronic system yet”.

Marwan bin Ghalita (Dubai) disagreed, saying that with the government moving towards e-government, it was only natural to use an electronic system. He added that the general secretariat had put in a lot of effort into the programme.

Mr Al Shamsi replied that voting on paper would ensure secrecy.

“With all due respect to technology, voting is meant to be in secret, and through the electronic system it would not be,” he said.

A separate vote on whether to use the programme or paper slips was then ordered and the new technology lost by 20 votes to 19.

Members spent the next 30 minutes voting for council monitors, then counting and recounting votes.

Mossabeh Al Kitbi (Sharjah) and Ali Al Nuaimi (Ajman) were elected to the posts.