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Iraq draws closer to biometrics-backed elections in 2021 with 16M voter cards issued

Majority of Irish ready for remote voting, Smartmatic issues statement in US election aftermath
Iraq draws closer to biometrics-backed elections in 2021 with 16M voter cards issued

Biometric cards which will be required to vote in Iraq’s upcoming elections have been distributed to 13 million eligible voters, with 3 million more on the way, according to the Iraq News Agency.

Prime Minister’s advisor Election Affairs Abdul-Hussein Al-Hindawi told the agency the total represents roughly 63 percent of eligible voters, who will not be able to vote without their ID card. Registration is ongoing.

Al-Hindawi said that “there are agreements with the relevant companies, as well as the existence of all plans, so that the commission is ready before the next elections.” He also noted that the previous, short-term voting cards would not be accepted.

The country’s parliament meanwhile ratified a new election law that is expected to lead to new elections being held early in 2021, The Rahnamu Daily reports. The changes are expected to make it easier for parties other than those that have dominated parliament so far to be elected.

Biometrics voter registration and reform of the electoral commission are among the remaining conditions that must be met to hold new elections, President Barham Saleh said.

Irish support remote voting

Electronic voting from home is supported by 58 percent of people in Ireland, according to a national survey by the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software, Lero, and more than two in three (69 percent) are in favor of national ID cards being introduced, Irish Tech News writes.

The results were comparable to those from a similar survey conducted two years ago, and according to Lero Director, Professor Brian Fitzgerald, reflect the comfort of Irish people in the digital world.

Smartmatic issues clarification

Smartmatic has been forced to publish a statement correcting the record on several inaccurate claims being circulated in the media and attributed to President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani.

The Manilla Standard quotes a Fox Business Channel interview in which Giuliani claimed Smartmatic owns Dominion Voting System. The New York Times reports that the claims are related to a conspiracy theory that Smartmatic is controlled by billionaire George Soros, which seems to stem from the involvement of Smartmatic Chairman Mark Malloch-Brown in the board of the Open Society Foundation, which Soros founded.

In response, Smartmatic states that it does not have any stake in Dominion, which is a market competitor. The company also noted that it does not have ties to governments or political parties in any country.

Dominion, the Department of Homeland Services, and other government agencies also issued statements denying or contradicting the claims.

Smartmatic recently won a biometric voter registration hardware contract in Uganda.

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