The first and second round of the 2022 parliamentary elections in the diaspora ended successfully on Sunday, and the Lebanese in Lebanon are now waiting for May 15 for the big day.
The ballots of the diaspora have started arriving in Beirut from the Arab countries (1st round) as the Lebanese expats were casting their votes in their respective countries of residence on Sunday (2nd round).
Many are wondering what happens to the diaspora ballots afterward. Here’s what we know:
At the closing of the polling stations, the envelopes are counted by the heads of the stations to make sure the number matches the participated voters, without counting the results.
Concerns are being shared among the Lebanese as to whether the ballots will be tampered with during their journey to Lebanon.
Lebanon’s Foreign Minister, Abdallah Bou Habib, stressed that there should not be any concerns in that regard as the boxes contain GPS tracking devices, are sealed with red wax, are closely monitored by cameras, and are guarded by representatives from different groups in their respective embassies.
Upon arriving at Beirut’s International Airport via DHL, the ballots are handed over to the Ministry of Interior, which stores them in Lebanon’s Central Bank, to be then counted upon E-Day on May 15.
Redditor u/New_Possibility2083 commented, “So from what I saw at the consulate in Rio de Janeiro, the box is tamper-proof. It’s rudimentary, but there were plastic seals on either latch on the box and the box cannot be opened unless the seals are cut off. Also, each box is delivered with a vote count, both global and per district, so replacing votes is a very meticulous process.”
The process is reportedly strategically planned. However, that hasn’t avoided violations in some polling centers, according to a report by LADE’s observers on the ground, as well as pressure on voters and breaches of the “electoral silence” by political parties.
There were also some complaints from the diaspora that they weren’t allowed to close/seal their voting envelopes before inserting them into the ballot box.
Lebanon is now readying to embark on the 2nd and final (and bigger) phase of Lebanon’s Elections 2022, which will take place on May 15th across the country.
Tensions have been high, and violations of candidate electoral billboards have been many, with some reportedly being set on fire by opposing party members.