Barcelona, Spain & Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 31, 2019 – Today, Scytl announced that the UAE National Election Committee (NEC) and the UAE Ministry of State for Federal National Council (FNC) Affairs deployed its unique election security technology for the third time in conducting yet another fully electronic parliamentary election.
Scytl, the worldwide leader in secure online voting and election modernization, also worked with the Ministry in the two previous FNC election cycles in 2015 and 2011, with the earlier collaboration delivering the fully electronic national election. The 2019 elections continued the country’s drive toward electoral innovation with 117,592 votes cast and a 48.5 percent increase in voter turnout.
The UAE has used electronic voting in its elections since the inaugural cycle in 2006, and Scytl has been its trusted partner since 2011. Electoral authorities cited building a culture of trust around technology and boosting the population’s digital literacy as primary reasons for utilizing electronic voting.
To ensure the security and transparency of the 2019 elections, Scytl implemented its state-of-the-art cryptography in over 1,000 online voting booths located in 39 polling stations across the seven emirates, guaranteeing voters complete privacy and secrecy while casting ballots. The company also deployed 411 desktop computers and laptops to allow poll workers to verify voters’ identities using personal eIDs. Scytl made the entire system available in the Gulf Arabic dialect and reconfigured it to read from right to left, as is customary for the language.
His Excellency Tariq Hilal Lootah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs, Member of NEC and Chairman of the Election Management Committee, said, “In addition to supplying the necessary technology, Scytl always listens to us and understands the complexity of our requirements with this project. The company is aware that it is dealing with a different environment and has done a tremendous job in adapting its technology to the culture of our country.”
Scytl’s electronic identification and voting technology enabled the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs to automate every step of the electoral process, with votes quickly consolidated and tallied, and results announced within 13 minutes of the closing of the polls.
Following the integration of Scytl’s technology, the FNC elections have witnessed a rise in women’s participation. Over the previous two electoral cycles backed by Scytl, the numbers of female voters increased by 10 percent. During the 2019 election, 42 percent of voters were women, an unprecedented result for the UAE.
Sílvia Caparrós, CEO of Scytl, said, “This is a significant project for Scytl because it is a nationwide election in a country that has made great strides towards modernization and is a leader in using voting technology. Our relationship with NEC and the UAE Ministry of State for FNC Affairs is one of trust and we feel very honored that the Ministry has trusted us again for these elections.”
About the National Election Committee
The National Election Committee (NEC) was established in January 2019 by a decision of the Federal Supreme Council to exercise all powers necessary to oversee the election of representatives of the seven emirates to the Federal National Council (FNC). NEC’s responsibilities include establishing the general framework of the electoral process and overall supervision of the conduct of the elections.
The Committee also supports outreach and awareness efforts relating to the elections, issues guidelines on the electoral process and identifies polling stations in each emirate. In addition, NEC is mandated to adopt procedures to form the legal framework for the elections, compile lists of voters and decide on the election timeline.
Scytl is leading the digital transformation and innovation in elections worldwide. Built up over 20 years of research and protected by over 40 international patents, Scytl’s solutions have been successfully used in over 30 countries across the globe, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, South Africa, India and Australia. Scytl is headquartered in Barcelona and backed by leading international VC investors, such as Vulcan Capital, Spinnaker Invest, and Nauta Capital. For more information, visit www.scytl.com.
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