CEC: Some Obstacles Facing the Polling Process

CEC Media Section, 9 January 13.30h — Six hours after opening the opening of polls, Palestinian voters continue to pour into polling centers to cast their votes, despite the failure of the Israeli authorities to deliver on their promises to facilitate the movement of the voters to allow their participation in the electoral process.

Some voters, particularly those on the civil registry, have not found their names on the register at the polling centres they have attended. Therefore, we urge voters to check the location of their designated polling centers, and go to vote there. Citizens on the electoral register can find their polling location on their registration receipt, or in the supplement distributed in the newspapers, or through the “toll free line” which the CEC has designated to assist the voter in locating their polling center. This line received 8,000 phone calls yesterday, and three times that number since the beginning of today. The CEC is endeavouring to assist all voters in all possible ways to facilitate their participation in the electoral process.

In the city of Jerusalem, Israeli authorities have been obstructive, particularly at the post offices. Obstruction includes Israeli post office employees informing voters that they are not registered to vote at these locations. Subsequent checks by the CEC have shown this information to be incorrect.

As has been pointed out by Mr. Jimmy Carter, former US president, any Jerusalem citizen is allowed to vote based on the field registration method, the “door to door” campaign to register the Jerusalemite voters which continues until today and which can be used for voters not on the registers at the post offices.

Elsewhere, the polling center located at Khuzah Martyrs School in Khan Younis, south of Gaza Strip has been fired upon by Israeli soldiers. The incident did not result in any casualties or significant damages, and the electoral process continued normally after a short pause. In Bita village near Nablus, some voters have complained of the presence of dirt barriers obstructing their movement towards the polling centers.

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