Elections Day: Opening Report

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Opening
The ICEO observers were spread across polling stations in all 23 electoral districts by 6:15 am on elections day to monitor the opening of centers and polling stations to monitor and evaluate their conformity with the relevant legislation, namely, the Election Law for the House of Representatives No. (6) of 2016 and the Executive Instructions No. (6) 9) of 2016.

In general, the opening process was conducted quietly and without hindrances or violations. Most of the centers were opened on time at 7:00 am. The following are the most important observations of our observers:
• The ICEO observers were prevented from entering to monitor the opening of the ballots in 80% of the polling stations except for the polling stations in Amman third district, where observers did not face any problems. The observers were asked by the polling stations’ committees to produce official papers in order to be allowed to enter the stations, although the observers were wearing their official badges which were issued by the Independent Election Commission. This violation, which lacks any legal basis, was directly communicated with the IEC, but the time it took to resolve it prevented the observers from following up the opening procedures transparently.
• A large part of the observers were prevented from using their cellphones and were asked to close them, which made communication between the operations rooms of the coalition and the observers in the centers a difficult task.
• Most committees did not cooperate with the observers in providing them with information about the opening of polling stations after the observers were allowed to enter.
• Advertisement materials for candidates in the vicinity of the polling stations were recorded, which is in conflict with paragraph (l) of Article (7) of the executive regulations for campaigns and electoral propaganda, which prohibits the presence of electoral propaganda in the vicinity of 200 meters around the polling station, or the presence of people in front of polling stations are campaigning for candidates.
• A shooting case of an automatic weapon was recorded in front of Madaba Secondary School for Boys which was communicated directly by the coalition’s observers to the IEC, resulting in immediate action and arrest of the shooter.
• In Box No. (2) in the Kuttam Secondary School for Boys in the third district of Irbid, voters were seen taking photos of their ballot paper when casting their votes and the matter was dealt with directly by the IEC.
• In the same district mentioned in the point above, in Juhafiya Secondary School for Boys in ballot No. (135) All ballot papers have been stamped in advance, although the procedure is to be stamped when given to the voter only. This incidence was repeated in Box No. (77) in Jafar Bin Abi Talib School for Boys in Karak District. The same case was recorded in Box No. (106) in the Salem School for Girls in the Bedouin Central District.
• At the Hartha Secondary School for Boys, the committee prevented having more than one observer present at the ballot box. The committee allowed only observer to be present at the ballot box, despite the presence of more than one supervisory authority.
• The head of the Umm al-Aswad Secondary School for Girls polling station, Amman fifth district, refused to admit local observers and allowed the entry of international observers. despite informing the Commission on the matter, the head of the polling station did not comply. ICEO observers were also removed from Al-Zahra Secondary School in the fifth district of Amman under the pretext of using the cellphone.
• The head of the Princess Alia High School in Amman refused to cooperate with ICEO observers and informed them that in case they want any information, they should contact the IEC.
• A quarrel took place in front of the Zaboud Secondary School for Boys in Amman fifth district, which resulted in breaking cars windows.
• In Box No. (24) at the Adnaniya Secondary School for Girls in the Karak district, the head of the polling committee provided the voters with wrong information, telling the voters that they should only indicate the name of the list on the ballot paper without the name of the candidates.
• The polling committee at ballot box No. 135, at Um Al-Rasayat Scholl for Girls in the central Badia District, did not count the ballot papers at the time of opening the polling station.
• Candidate (PG) in the Central Badia district voted publicly in Box No. 99 at Al Faisaliah School and claimed that the Chairman of the IEC said it is allowed to vote publicly. The candidate was called by the IEC later on.
• At the school of Lababah bint al-Harith, ballot box No. 120, the number of voters registered on the door of the hall was 595 voters, while the number registered on the paper was 602, and although it is a polling station dedicated to females, the voters register included the names of two male voters.
• A public vote was recorded in Box No. 66 at Fatima Al-Zahra School in Tafila district and the polling committee withdrew the paper and destroyed it.
• Public votes were recorded in boxes (34, 35, 36 and 37) at Abu Ayyub Al Ansari School in Aqaba.
• The ability to remove ink has been recorded in Zarqa first district.
• In Box No. (120) at Hayyan Al-Ruwaibid Secondary School in Al-Mafraq District, voting was done using the health insurance card as a personal proof instead of an official ID. In the Mafraq district also, a case of casting a ballot using the family book was recorded.
• Polling at the Fuqaha school in Amman was halted because of chaos.

The Elections Observation project is funded by the European Union

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