ABU DHABI, The National Election Committee, NEC, has announced that early voting in the 2019 Federal National Council, FNC, elections will commence on 1st October, and will continue until 3rd October, from 9 am until 6 pm.

Confirming the readiness of the polling stations for early voting, Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, Minister of State for FNC Affairs and Chairman of NEC, said, "In order to facilitate the members of the electoral college to exercise their right to vote and ensure widest possible participation in early voting, NEC has allocated nine polling stations that are distributed across the length and breadth of the country."

Members of the electoral college will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred candidates at nine polling stations across the UAE.

On day one, central database verification of select members of the electoral college will take place at the main polling station in Abu Dhabi in the presence of the candidates and their representatives to ensure the transparency of the voting system. Early voting at the nine polling stations will strictly conform to the pre-determined timing.

NEC indicated that early voting will proceed through an electronic voting system. Voters will be required to carry their Emirates ID as the only identification document approved by the Committee. Members of the electoral college can vote at any of the polling stations, even if they reside in other emirates.

The nine polling stations open for early voting will be located at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Al Ain Convention Centre, Madinat Zayed Wedding Hall, Al Dhafra, Dubai World Trade Centre, Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club, Ajman University, Ras Al Khaimah Exhibition Centre, Etihad Hall in Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah Exhibition Centre.

Meanwhile, the Emirates News Agency, WAM, has highlighted the four steps required for successful e-voting.

The first step begins with voters inserting their ID cards issued by the Federal Authority for Identity and Nationality in the identity reader device. The card can only be withdrawn after the completion of the voting process after the "here" button is pressed.

In the second step, voters will see a screen with images of candidates. Each voter can only select one candidate but vote in two ways, either by entering the candidate number or by clicking on the image of their chosen candidate.

If a voter chooses to vote by candidate number, he or she must enter the number then press the "confirm" button. If the wrong number is entered, the voter can amend it by pressing the "clear" button. If a voter enters a number that is not on the list, it will automatically disappear so the voter can re-enter it.

If a voter chooses to vote by selecting a candidate's image, he or she must click on the image of the chosen candidate. To move between screens, the "next" button must is pressed. To return to a previous candidate, the "previous" button must be pressed.

In the third step, after selecting the candidate, the voter will see a voting approval screen that contains the image of the chosen candidate. After making sure that the correct candidate has been selected, the voter must either press the "vote" button or press the "vote adjustment" button to undo the selection.

In the fourth and final step, the voter will see a screen confirming the successful completion of the voting process. The ID card can then be withdrawn from the reader.

The e-voting system has many advantages over traditional voting by ballot, most notably due to its ease and the shorter timeframe required to complete the entire electoral process with fewer errors, meaning that voters are less likely to make mistakes when casting their votes.

Source: Emirates News Agency