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Kurdistan drops ration card requirement for diaspora e-voters

By Rudaw 18/9/2017
Eligible voters abroad can register on the website.
Eligible voters abroad can register on the website.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan’s election body has announced it has removed the requirement submission of the ration card, one of the documents needed by people living in diaspora to register for the e-vote for the Kurdistan Region independence referendum. Additionally, registration and e-voting will continue through September 25.

Shirwan Zirar, the spokesperson for the independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC), announced on Monday that they removed the provision for the ration card document after calls from Kurds living in diaspora and the Kurdistan Region presidency.

Voters have to prove they currently hold Iraqi citizenship by providing one of these four documents: the Iraqi identity card, Iraqi passport, Iraqi citizenship form, or Iraqi national card. 

Registrants’ names will be checked against an Iraqi database.

Registration will continue through the 23rd of September until the 25th during which period they may also vote.

Diaspora Kurds have complained they did not have ration card, preventing them from registering to vote. The registration process began on September 1.

Iraq has not held a census for decades so relies on the ration card to determine place of origin of citizens. The cards were introduced during the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food Programme in the mid-1990s.

Kurds in diaspora had believed that the requirement of the ration card was unrealistic as many have lived abroad for several years, even decades, and no longer have this document. 

Comments and posts on social media in the past showed Kurds’ frustration and anger with the process. Rudaw English had reached out to some to hear their thoughts. 

The Kurdistan election commission has activated a website that allows the Kurdistan Region and Kurdistani diaspora to register their names to vote in the upcoming independence referendum.

Eligible voters can visit in English or Kurdish to fill in an online registration form. 

The website, available in Kurdish, Arabic, and English, cannot be accessed from inside the Kurdistan Region.

Following registration, the voter will receive an activation email.  

The local vote will take place on September 25.

The Iraqi parliament has authorized Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to take any measures against the referendum process taking place in the Region and Kurdistani or disputed areas outside of the Region’s administration but under its control.


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kurdo Ibrahim | 18/9/2017
Musa | 18/9/2017
It still asks for the ration card in order to get to the next step. How is it fixed.
WELATO | 18/9/2017
It’s an absolute shame and disgrace how the West, UN, especially the United States, used Kurds to defeat “ISIS” than they turn their back on the Kurds and leave them as prey in the mercy of the callous Turks, Iranians, and Arabs. This reality proves how disgusting the ideology of the west is, how much falsehood is in their “Democracy” and defending “Human rights” and “Protecting minorities & standing up for Justice for all”? These rules only apply to their nations and their people! If 6 million Kurds vote and want to move ahead with self-determination and independence why not respect this? why not protect them against the evils of iran, turkey, and Shia militias? If you the west Truly believe in what you preach “Democracy “… ETC….. After all the Kurds have done for the west and the world, this is how they respect and appreciate Kurds? We have 1000’s of martyrs who put their life on the line to preserve peace, and protect the innocent! We have been through countless genocides that to this day still have no recognition by the west, or the “Muslim nations”. Why must the world turn a blind eye on Kurds? What harm have Kurds done? Kurds should stand strong, ignore the negatives, we should not expect a boutique of flowers from our neighboring countries, if we depend on them we will never reach our Goal. We must move on with the referendum, kick OUT all the refugees out of Kurdistan and let the Useless body of “United Corrupt and Coward Nations” deal with them. We are tired of being used and abused by the world. We want peace, we want stability, and we want our basic human rights to be installed on our God given LAND! God didn’t put us on this earth to become Ginny pigs for the west, and the surrounding inhuman, backwards thinking, and ruthless Turks, Persians, and Arabs! We must fight to the end! Life or Death Situation! Biji Barzani, biji Kurdistan, Yan Kurdistan Yan Naman!
Ari Kakaie | 18/9/2017
I sent a message to email they have on the website to see why it's still being required, I haven't heard back yet.
A Kurd in exile | 19/9/2017
@WELATO: Thank You brother! I am with you and agree with you 100%! Long Live Kurdistan and the Kurds!
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