IEC Making Final Touches For ‘Smooth And Transparent’ Polls

August 4, 2017
Posters of candidates for the August 15 local elections are seen on a street in Amman on Tuesday (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — As the August 15 municipal and local elections draw nearer, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) is working to ensure a "smooth and transparent" electoral process, an official said on Tuesday.
 
Some 10 million ballot papers of 631 different forms are currently being printed at a specialised printing houses to ensure the papers have security marks, IEC Spokesperson Jihad Momani told The Jordan Times.
 
While the final preparations of voting and sorting centres will take place one day prior to the voting day, the commission has been working with governmental partners to ensure polling centres are technically ready for the polls, he said.
 
"The IEC will officially receive the polling centres on Monday, August 14, in order to set up all that is required for the vote, and it will put them under the observation of security agencies," Momani noted.
 
As part of the IEC's arrangements with concerned security bodies, a detailed security plan has been prepared to intensify security measures in "hotspots" across the Kingdom, in reference to areas which usually see tensions during the election, the official added.
 
Meanwhile, over 30,000 volunteers will be assigned to the polling centres to help facilitate the voting process, he said.
 
Nearly 20,000 of the volunteers, one third of whom are women, already have previous volunteering experiences with the IEC via a door-to-door campaign or other activities.
 
Momani underlined the commission's efforts to ensure transparency through several measures taken before and on Election Day, starting off with announcing lists of eligible voters and candidates, and allowing citizens and candidates to legally challenge them.
 
On Tuesday, the IEC announced it would open the election media centre as of Sunday at Al Hussein Youth City.
 
Media and communication director at the IEC, Sharafuldin Abu Rumman, said that opening the centre reflects the commission’s keenness to “provide the best services for journalists” covering the elections, according to an IEC statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
 
The centre will have a high speed WiFi service and a main conference hall accommodating up to 400 people, in addition to providing an Arabic-English-Arabic interpretation, Abu Rumman added.
 
On the voting day, journalists, observers and representatives of candidates will monitor the entire electoral process.
 
In addition, auditing paper and electronic data of voters will further boost accuracy of information, he said, adding that measures such as the use of indelible ink and secure voting papers, as well as verifying voting papers via video footage, are additional procedures to “guarantee transparency”.
 
By Tuesday morning, the IEC’s teams had registered a total of 163 violations in candidates’ promotional campaigns, Momani said.
 
He noted that violations included signs obstructing traffic, setting up promotional material at governmental buildings, using the logos of the IEC, the government or Royal photos, as well as damaging banners of other candidates.
 
Jordan Times
August 3, 2017