Electronic voting during local elections in the northwestern French port city of Brest in March 2015. File photo: AFP/Fred Tanneau
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A Kurdish software developer has submitted a proposal to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on electronic voting system which he says can enhance the election process in the country and be used in a wide range of areas including government’s future planning.
Abdourahman Mirani who has received his PhD in cyber security from the Nottingham University says the electronic system is “impossible to manipulate and is virtually immune to hackers.”
Electronic voting is an election system that allows a voter to record his or her secure and secret ballot electronically. In 2004, it was estimated that approximately 30 percent of the voting population in the United States used some form of e-voting technology.
Mirani believes the establishment of any electronic system can be misused to undermine individual freedom and integrity, “but it will increase national security,” by providing the government’s different bodies faster and more reliable means to communicate.
“Our proposal aims at creating a biometric system for the national security in which most personal data including photos, blood types, DNA and other such information are stored,” Mirani says which according to him will provide the government important data for future planning.
If the KRG approves the project, it is estimated to take between 3 and 5 years to develop the system at a budget of $5 million to $10 million.
Irregularities have frequently been reported in election processes in the Kurdistan Region with political parties occasionally accuse opponents of voter fraud and manipulations.
According to Mirani the electronic voting system will reduce irregularities and help the election process to become a faster procedure.
The KRG is currently developing mandatory electronic payment system for state employees to reduce the number of ghost workers who do not actually work but are paid by the government, often through falsification of personnel or payroll records.
The so called biometric system is designed to prevent individual employees from receiving more than one salary, effectively limiting fraud and mismanagement of public assets, authorities have said.
The stored data from the biometric system can be used to develop the electronic voting system, according to Mirani.