The new electronic ballot-counting device for the upcoming Iraqi elections is easy to be programmed and could be used to tamper votes from one party to another, an official from the Kurdistan Region’s electoral commission warned on Wednesday. Iraqi parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held on May 12 across the country. It is the first time Iraq will use an electronic vote counter. Voters are still required to place their votes on paper ballots, but machines will do the counting. “An electronic system for elections is good, but it should be used in a country that has the rule of law—in a country that does not have militias or some political parties which have full control over the system,” Ismael Khurmali, the Kurdistan Region’s Election Commission Council’s decision-maker, told Kurdistan 24.
Many people in the country believe the new electronic devices will prevent fraud in the Iraqi elections, but Khurmali disagrees. He mentioned that the Kurdish parties had approved the use of the device, but he was against it.
“This technology can be used in the interest of one party or more. There is a possibility that some people would devote the votes from one party to another when they electronically send it to the main server in Baghdad because those who are on the server are not neutral or independent people. Thus, the result of the elections can be changed easily,” Khurmali said.