The High Elections Commission (HEC) has introduced controls to guard against repeat voting in the constitutional referendum scheduled to begin on Tuesday, said Hesham Mokhtar, the committee’s spokesperson.
These controls are in addition to a new decree passed by Interim President Adly Mansour on Sunday that would sentence anyone found guilty of illegally casting votes to jail, reported the state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA).
Since 1956, Article 49 of the Political Rights Law has stipulated imprisonment for fraudulent voting, but Mansour’s amendment specified a three to 15-year sentence for anyone voting under a fraudulent name or casting a ballot more than once.
During the referendum on January 14 and 15, polls are scheduled to open at 9 am and close at 9 pm. However, if on the last day of the referendum there are still voters waiting to cast their ballots, the head of the polling station may extend opening hours to allow everyone to vote.
Mokhtar said 52,742,139 voters are registered to vote in 13,867 polling stations across the nation.
“The tallying process will take place immediately at the end of the second day of voting in sub-committees all over Egypt,” Mokhtar continued, adding that the announcement of the results would be issued within 72 hours after the close of polling stations.
Voters can inquire about their respective polling station on the High Election Commission’s website, by texting their ID number to 5151, or by calling the 140 information hotline.
Over the course of the referendum, the HEC would issue three daily statements with updates on any developments in the referendum, said State Information Service head Salah Abdel Sadek, according to the state-owned news site Egynews.
If necessary, the committee would also hold a press conference at 9 pm on Tuesday and again on Wednesday at the Cairo Press Club’s conference hall on Talaat Harb Street in downtown Cairo, Sadek added.
“The committee has set up an information center at the Cairo Press Club, where the committee’s main headquarters are, during the voting days of Tuesday and Wednesday, January 14 and 15,” Sadek continued, adding that the committee would be the reference point for foreign journalists, residents and visitors.
The committee had also established a hotline number, 16149, which would be serviced by committee members working out of the Cairo Press Club operation room from 8 am to 10 pm on voting days, Sadek said.
Journalists reporting for international media outlets could also call the press center numbers located on the back of their press cards for more information, he pointed out.