Vote counting after first round voting at Port Said
الخميس, 08 ديسمبر 2011

The vote count was a centralized and chaotic process. There was a lack of space to carry out counting at Mubarak Stadium in Port Said. This led to vote counters going into the stadium seats and also setting up outside on the stadium grounds. There was also a heavy military presence with soldiers with riot gear, machine guns and lots of tanks. 

One method that election monitors saw taking place in Port Said was with officials divided into two groups. One group took the ballots out of the ballot box unfolded them and placed them in order to be examined by the second group. The second group would keep a running tally of the votes. Both groups were being overseen by the judge who was reading out the names on the ballot.

Ballot counting at Mubarak Stadium in Port Said was "relatively" open and transparent. Although a bit chaotic. Different judges had different methodologies for conducting the count. At one point a man started screaming “I refuse the results.” We crossed the auditorium to try to interview him but our translator and credentialed election observer Omar was shouted at and told to leave by a military official. 

The man and various associates continued protesting the counting process.

Due to lack of space teams of vote counters an ballot boxes were placed in the stands of the stadium and just outside the building but still on the grounds. Outside the counters were face to face with the military presence.

Despite all of the “imperfections” surrounding the voting process the Egyptians interviewed compared these elections with the previous and said that they were a dramatic improvement. Although not perfect and that they expected better in the future but were very happy to see the progress made so far. Unfortunately, as time passed and the second round approached it appears that the optimism may have diminished.