Over the past months, the Facilitation Office (FO) of the civic registration drive has finalised a secure electronic voter registration machine for PNC elections. The technical, procedural, and political work that has gone into creating this registration mechanism makes it possible for all Palestinians to now register to vote for their national parliament, the Palestinian National Council (PNC). The civic registration conducted in Yarmouk Camp, Syria earlier this year was the first time that Palestinians living in exile have registered their names and voices, asserting their right to participate in and to decide their national affairs.
The registration mechanism was built to provide Palestinians in a variety of different locations and circumstances with the opportunity to register to vote, whilst maintaining the highest international standards of safety and security in the creation of this primary register. The procedures of the registration process are simple: Palestinian civic associations wishing to run a voter registration drive can do so through a secure low-cost process, as part of a popularly-driven, national initiative.
The procedures applied reflect international best practice and standards, and have been developed with the relevant national and international institutions to ensure equality of principle and practice across our exile and refugee communities, mindful of the obstacles and challenges faced by each.
In March 2013, Palestinians from Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria became the first registered voters to the PNC, the highest legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organistion (PLO). Trained volunteers from the camp registered Palestinians of voting age, enfranchising them to choose their representatives at any forthcoming PNC elections. The start of registration in Yarmouk marked the initiation of the popular reactivation of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
Pending the necessary facilitation, it is now possible for civic registration for elections to the PNC to begin in all Palestinian communities around the world. The work to overcome existing obstacles and enfranchise all our people will continue August 20th, 2013.