UK election solution provider DRS Data Services Ltd, has successfully provided their specialist electronic ballot counting technology for the Oman Majlis A’Shura Legislative Council elections that took place on 15th October.
As a global leader in the provision of election technologies,
DRS works with electoral management bodies, commissions and supporting organisations across the world and has first-hand experience working with established and emerging democracies, providing election technologies for both the casting and counting of votes and also the initial establishment of a secure and robust voters list. This most recent provision builds on the previous successful use of DRS technologies to support the 2007 and 2003 elections in Oman.
Once again this project was delivered locally and in collaboration with Bahwan IT, DRS’ partner in Oman, integrating DRS high speed real time ballot counting technology with Bahwan’s bespoke Arabic language secure election application.
Approximately 600,000 ballot papers were provided by DRS, along with 83 scanners located in 61 regional counting stations. Reports in Oman confirm that voter turnout was around 76% and each voter was authenticated at the polling station using a National ID Smartcard, before casting their vote for one of the 1000+ candidates on one of 61 ballot paper types.
DRS worked with their local partner, Bahwan IT, to assist in the delivery of a training program enabling local count centre staff to understand the methods required to prepare ballot papers and to operate the scanning technology. Results, once captured at each local centre, were transmitted and consolidated at a central site. The use of technology meant that the time taken to produce a result was significantly reduced, as was the number of staff required to count the ballot papers. The results were actually declared within 12 hours of voting ending.
Bahwan IT General Manager, M K Janaki Raman, was quick to praise DRS, saying; “The Oman elections went well, thanks to the excellent support from the DRS team. The entire process of voting and counting was well over in less than 24 hours….we would like to place on record our appreciation to the DRS management and to the entire team for having supported Bahwan IT in this crucial project.”
DRS Head of Elections, Sonya Anderson, said; “In 2003 and 2007 DRS had the opportunity to support the election process in Oman. We were delighted that our partner organisation Bahwan IT and the Ministry of Interior in Oman once again selected DRS technology for this mission critical process and once again the technology has delivered the benefits of speed, accuracy and security.”
Established in 1969, DRS is a global leader in the provision of election technology, with proven skills and expertise to manage data capture projects of any size or complexity around the world. DRS’ comprehensive technologies offer security and reliability whether utilised for capturing voter registration details or for facilitating the voting process itself in electronic voting or counting projects. Providers of hardware, software, printed ballot papers, technical support, training and advice, DRS has delivered efficiency and security to the electoral administration process in countries as diverse as Norway, Oman, Hong Kong and Bosnia & Herzegovina and continues to be the UK market leader in e electronic counting hardware and software systems.
DRS have played a significant role in many ground breaking electoral modernisation projects both in the UK and worldwide. Working with many of the election associations including the UK AEA, the ACEEEO, IFES and the Association of African Election Authorities, DRS has been able to demonstrate measurable benefits to the electoral administration process. Visit www.drs.co.uk for more details.
About Bahwan IT
Bahwan IT is a division of The Suhail Bahwan Group which was formed as a Partnership Company in 1965 and today ranks as one of Oman’s foremost business houses. It has interests in engineering and construction, manufacturing and industrial investments, information technology, trading and specialised services among others. The Group comprises of more than 40 companies with a combined currently annualised turnover of more than US$ 3 billion (2008) and employs over 15,000 personnel. Many of the Group companies are market leaders in their field, not only in Oman but in the entire Gulf Region.
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