Omani voters cast their votes through the “Intakheb” mobile app on October 29, 2023, to choose their representatives to the Shura Council for the tenth term.
Following the successful application of a biometric-based digital ID platform, developed by uqudo and powered by TECH5’s biometric technologies, for voter identity verification in the 2022 elections in Oman, the country used the same technology for verification of over 750,000 voters during the 2023 Shura Council’s member elections.
“Voters were able to cast their votes in easy and simple steps, using the NFC feature on their smartphones to verify their identity and select their candidates,” according to the Omani Ministry of Interior statement.
The results of the election will be announced on October 30, 2023.
To be permitted to vote electronically, voters first scan their biometric identity cards using their smartphones, allowing the NFC chip on the ID to be read by the application. The system then verifies their identity using AI-based facial recognition and liveness detection technologies. The entire procedure takes less than a minute and is completed without any manual intervention, and voters' choices are not linked to their identity.
The incorporation of the innovative platform powered by biometrics into the Antakhib mobile app led to several significant improvements in the preparation and voting processes, including time-saving – the entire electoral process was organised in less than a week, compared to the three to four months required in the past, and making the voting process fast and easy – voters could cast their ballots from anywhere, and they did not have to travel to a polling station. Additionally, this innovative approach led to a reduction in the overall cost of the voting process, allowing voters to choose their representatives without visiting an electoral booth, and reduction in the number of election workers.
“We were delighted to see that TECH5’s biometric technologies and the digital ID platform of our partner uqudo successfully used to develop the first-of-its-kind electronic voting system in the Middle East and Africa and used for elections in Oman. We will continue developing the offerings to ensure that every country has access to innovations powering fair and convenient elections for everyone.” – said Rahul Parthe, Co-founder, Chairman and CTO of TECH5, in a company statment.