Egyptian Parliamentary Elections: A Logistical Nightmare

I was watching the administrative head of the Egyptian parliamentary elections (2011) on television, when it all of a sudden hit me that by sheer numbers the elections are a logistical nightmare. He mentioned that in phase 1 alone, covering 9 governates, there are 18.5 million eligible voters, voting in roughly 3500 stations, and 10 thousand supervising judges. The capacity of voting stations is way below the registered voters numbers, which means that at a 100% turn out it would be impossible for the voting stations to process all votes. Even at a 20% turn out voters will be rushed through the procedure in order to be able to process the votes of all people in line.

Here is my rough calculation. (Please note that numbers are rounded up or down, and do not represent the official count.)

Voting in phase 1 are 18.5 million voters.

Voters are divided into approximately 3500 voting stations (if not less).

There are 10000 judges supervising the electoral process.

If we have 10000 judges and approx. 3500 station, that means there are 3 judges assigned for each station.

If every station will work 12 hours per day, this makes  it a total of 24 hours over two days.

Now, if we divide 18.5 million voters over 3500 voting stations, with 3 judges, that means each station will have to process ~ 5286 voters over two days at 100% turn out, making the process time 1.21min per voter. And by process time I mean, from the point the voter reaches the judge until she/he casts their vote and receives the ink mark on her/his finger.

However, to be more realistic, let’s assume a 20% turn out.
That means every station will have to process ~ 1057 voters over two days, i.e. ~ 529 voters per day, making the process time 4.2min per voter.

Of course this is assuming that the station will not take breaks and everything will go smoothly.

But what if more than 20% of registered voters show up?

Here are numbers based on 3 judges per station:

At 25% turnout – 3.27min process time

At 30% turnout – 2.72min process time

At 35% turnout – 2.33min process time

At 40% turnout – 2.04min process time

At 45% turnout – 1.82min process time

Let’s assume that it will take every voter 5 min to finish the voting process. This means with three judges and at full capacity each station can only accommodate 864 voters over 2 days, i.e. 432 voters per day. That is without breaks and assuming all goes according to plan.

One Response to “Egyptian Parliamentary Elections: A Logistical Nightmare”

  1. Of course, this article is written by Egyptian judge.

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