While in Bulgaria on Sunday there were arguments about the place of machine voting in the electoral process, Oman held the first fully remote online elections. Voters voted only electronically using biometric IDs.
The people of Oman elected their representatives for the tenth term of the Consultative Council, also known as Majlis Al-Shura. A total of 843 candidates took part in the competition, including 32 women. They competed for 90 vacant seats, and a total of 753,690 Omanis were eligible to vote online.
For the first time in the Arab world, an election based entirely on Mobile app. Voters elected their representatives through AI-enabled Antakhib. For the first time, voters residing outside Oman were also allowed to participate in the election remotely, with over 13,800 people taking advantage of the opportunity to vote.
How is voting done?
The online voting process is as easy as possible. After installing the app on their personal mobile phone and registering, the voter scans their biometrics and allows the ID chip to be read by the app.
Part of the process is also the taking of a selfie of the voter, with which he can verify his identity if necessary. The entire process takes less than a minute, and voters’ votes cannot be linked to their identity. This clarification is important because of many doubts related to the possibility of the authorities tracking how people voted.
A member of the media team from the Ministry of Interior, Mrs. Sumaya Albalushi, confirmed to bTV that the application is characterized by an easy and simple user interface and a high level of security, using the latest encryption, which makes voting secure and transparent.
As a pilot, the development for fully online voting was tested in the municipal elections in Oman in 2022, when the Swiss-based company Tech5, in partnership with the UK’s Uqudo, developed the system for verifying the identity of voters, which became the basis of the fully remote parliamentary elections in Oman.