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Jordan's Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Municipal Affairs are working to connect polling stations throughout the kingdom using the internet.
Officials say the project aims to enable citizens to cast their ballots using an online system in the upcoming municipal elections.
This system will link all the polling stations that are set up in Jordan's schools. Voters will cast their votes using their identification cards, which will automatically remove their names from the voting lists to prevent repeated voting.
With the new system, citizens will not be obligated to go to a particular polling station as was the case during previous elections. Instead, they will be able to vote at any centre in their constituency, an improvement officials say they hope will increase voter participation.
Municipal elections are expected to be held before the end of 2012, and Jordan's senate approved a municipality law concerning elections March 12th.
The new system is intended to ensure integrity and transparency during the voting process, said Haitham al-Nahla, spokesperson for the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Environment.
"This foolproof technical system prevents fraud [by individuals who use] ID cards that do not belong to [them] in addition to facilitating the voting and counting process by using ID cards that include voter data and the voter's national number," he said.
Al-Nahla said the government seeks to link the voter's personal data, which is on the ID card, to the electronic system used by electoral commissions. Each voter is able to vote within his constituency, and the link will prevent any transgressions from occurring when a voter changes his residence.
"The electoral commission has an electronic connection that provides access to the voter's data and compares it with people who actually vote, which increases transparency in the voting process and during counting," al-Nahla said.
"These procedures guarantee long-term and permanent access to voter names in coordination with the Civil Status and Passports Department, which updates the status of individuals who have reached the voting age and removes names of the deceased," he said.
Hilda Ajeilat, founding member of the Jordan Transparency Centre, said systems like the electronic connection project are designed to ensure greater fairness and transparency during the election process.
"International standards require that the ballot box where each citizen votes is identified to prevent fraud and to allow more transparency," Ajeilat said. "It also allows candidates to track their voter base with voting results and then decide whether to either challenge the outcome or not."
Ajeilat said it is important to make voting easy for citizens, as well as to issue voting cards that include a candidate's identifying information as well as the vicinity and ballot box where he is allowed to vote. These cards would be used in place of ID cards, she said.
"This will provide more guarantees when it comes to neutrality, integrity and objectivity," she said.
Lawyer Nasser Sanaa said a committee independent from the executive branch should supervise the project to increase the transparency of the electoral process.
When the electronic system is implemented, the electoral process will be faster and easier, Sanaa said. However, he highlighted the importance of an alternative system that can be used in case the electronic system malfunctions.
"We have to work within a framework that avoids double-dealing as well as cheating the electoral commission," he said. "Laws and regulations that discourage people from selling their votes or receiving funds for political favours should be monitored by the relevant authorities."
"If any transgressions take place, the relevant authorities must intervene and forcefully impose the law outside the polling stations," Sanaa said. "It is also important to raise awareness, emphasising that citizens should cast their vote according to their preference."