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The People’s Assembly will be tasked with crafting the new constitution as well as reviewing and approving the state budget, consenting to declarations of war or emergency law and legislating. It is divided into 18 committees like Manpower, Budget, and Foreign Affairs.
The coming parliamentary vote is arguably the most important and most complicated in Egypt’s history. It is with that in mind that The Caravan publishes the Voter’s Guide, helping voters prepare for a smooth electoral process.
The People's Assembly will be chosen based on a newly created mixed electoral system, with two thirds of the seats being contested by parties and the remaining third for individual members.
In the new electoral system, the parliament will include 498 seats where 33.3 percent of the seats will be filled through a system called the "single-member" system in 83 districts, with two members representing each district.
The remaining 332 seats, or 66.6 percent, will be filled from the "party-list" system in 46 districts. Each party-list will have between four and ten candidates depending on the population and size of the district.
In the party-list system, each party forms a separate list of candidates, for every district they wish to contest. Voters will choose an entire list rather than an individual candidate, based on the party's platform and vision.
For example, in a constituency where two parties are competing, party A and B, for 10 seats, if 60 percent of votes are cast for party A and 40 percent of the votes for B, party A will take six seats and party B will take the remaining four.
Party lists are ordered with purpose and each candidate's chance of being selected depends on his or her position on the list. In our example,the first six names on party A's list will join the parliament and similarly for party B. This is known as a "closed-list" system; the voter chooses only the party, the seats will be given to the first names of candidates on the list, according to the voting results.
According to the official website sponsored by the judicial committee, www.elections2011.eg voters should head to a polling station in the district that corresponds to his or her national identity card. If a voters name does not appear on the polling station's list of voters they won't be allowed to vote.
There are three ways for individuals to check whether his/her name is included in the voters list and which electoral district they are to vote in.
The first option is to visit the police station near the address indicated on your identity card. Second, the Judicial Committee's website allows users to search their national ID number for information on their assigned electoral district.
Lastly, the Cabinet of Ministers announced that citizens can call 140, the Egyptian telephone directory, for information about dates and the polling station locations.
On election day, voters must have their national identity cards in order to vote. No other identification will be accepted at polling stations which will be open from 8am to 7pm.
Because there are fewer electoral districts for the party-lists than for independent candidates, voters should choose polling stations that cover both. Otherwise, voters will be forced to travel to a second polling station to cast their other ballot.
The elections for the People's Assembly are divided into three rounds.
Each of the 27 governorates has been placed into a particular round.
The first takes place on November 28 in the following governorates: Cairo, Fayoum, Luxor, Port Said, Damietta, Alexandria, Kafr El Sheikh, Assiut, and Red Sea.
The second round will take place on December 14, in: Giza, Beni Suef, Munofiya, Sharqiya, Ismailia, Suez, Beira, Shag, and Aswan.
For the remaining governorates: Minya, Qalyoubia, Gharbeya, Dakahleya, North Sinai, South Sinai, Matrouh, Lena, and New Valley; voting will take place on January 3.
For the independent seats, candidates must receive more than 50 percent of the votes to win. If none of the candidates get above 50 percent, a run-off will take place between the top two candidates.
First round run-offs will take place on December 5, second round run-offs on December 21, and third round run-offs on January 10, 2012.The results of all elections will be announced three days later on January 13, 2012.
On arrival at the polling station, voters will receive two paper ballots, one for the independent candidates, and another for the party lists. The voter will choose one party from the party list ballot, and two individuals from the individual candidate ballot, at least one of the individual candidates selected by the voter must be designated a farmer or worker; otherwise the vote will not count.
The parties' list ballot in each district may include coalitions, such as "The Egyptian Bloc" which is a mix of two or more parties.
To avoid fraud, individuals are required to stain their finger with phosphoric ink after voting.
Votes are invalidated if:
• The individual votes for more or less than one party, or more or less than two independents on the respective ballots.
• If the individual does not vote for at least one farmer or a worker on the independent list.
• If a pencil is used to mark the ballot.
In case of visually or physically impaired people, the chairperson of the committee will either allow a delegate to vote on their behalf or the chairperson will cast the vote with the voters permission, each case of assisted voting will be documented by the committee.