An innovative voting process for Egypt

How Egypt secured and streamlined its electoral process with mobile authentication terminals. 2013 marked a turning point in Egypt’s history. During the Arab Spring, the violent protests against the government led to the ousting of the president and opened the door to change. A few months later, in January 2014, Egyptian voters cast their votes, approving a constitutional referendum. The same year, general and presidential elections were organized. Egypt opted for mobile authentication terminals to facilitate and secure the ballots. It was the first country to use mobile touchscreen biometric terminals for electoral purposes. The project proved to be a great success, with 6 million people authenticated and an electoral process that was deemed to be more transparent.
 

The constitutional referendum

Since it was absolutely crucial to authenticate the voters during the constitutional referendum, Safran provided the very first 300 MorphoTablet™ systems which were used to check the identity of each voter.

The terminals were used at forty or so polling units located within the vicinity of Cairo and Giza to authenticate over 60,000 voters.
Each voter was required to show his or her voting card so that election officers could use the tablets to scan the bar-codes. The voting cards were handed back once the terminal had been used to check voters were listed and that they had not already cast their vote.

Furthermore, the tablets recorded the voting information in real time and issued reports for monitoring the developments in the electoral process, in addition to forwarding the statistics automatically to a central server via a mobile network. While the mobile terminals made it possible to avoid fraud, they also facilitated supervisors' work and accelerated the electoral operations.

Safran successfully rolled out the pilot project in just three weeks. Praised by the Egyptian media as being a historic milestone in Egypt's democratic process, the pilot project opened the way to a second, more important phase, namely the presidential elections.

 

The presidential elections

To secure the electoral process during the presidential elections, an additional 2,000 MorphoTablet™ systems were rolled out from the outset of the electoral campaign, which took place from March to May 2014.

The tablets helped to record and secure the various stages of the elections. To begin with, they were used to check the signatures required for each candidate. In total, 25,000 signatures per candidate from the 27 governorates were checked.

Polling began on May 15 with expatriates casting their votes first via the network of Egyptian embassies and consulates across the globe. Polling then began for the governorates of Egypt from May 26 to 28.

All of the results were then collected. All in all, Safran's solution was used to verify the right to vote of around 6 million citizens. Over 100 Safran employees assisted locally to ensure a smooth deployment of the project.

 
2,000
MorphoTablet™
systems were rolled out
25,000
signatures
per candidate were checked

A new e-ID card for Egypt

Following the success of the elections, Safran, which has been operating out of Cairo since 2010, signed a contract with AOI Electronics (Arab Organization for Industrialization) in order to produce a new e-ID card for Egypt. Safran will provide the inlays, the main components of the smart ID cards, which will make the Egyptian e-ID card one of the most secure in the world.

*Inlay: Contactless microprocessor integrated into the card