Diaspora Kurds to vote online in Kurdish independence referendum

The Kurdistan Region’s Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHERC) has approved the use of an online voting system for the Kurdish diaspora in the upcoming referendum on independence.

Citizens of the Kurdistan Region living abroad will be able to register online through a special website submitting their names and required documentation from September 1st to September 7th. Following registration, applicants will receive a code by email allowing individuals to vote online on September 25th. The code can only be used once.

A large proportion of Kurds live abroad in Europe, the USA, and Canada. Many of them are from the Kurdistan Region while the rest are from Greater Kurdistan which includes Turkey, Syria, and Iran.

kurdistan regional government
Kurdistan Regional Government, Council of Ministers building, Erbil.

Voters will be required to have an Iraqi ration card along with their Iraqi identity card, Iraqi passport, Iraqi citizenship form, or the Iraqi national card. Citizens of the Kurdistan Region, like the rest of Iraq, received what has become known as a ‘ration card’ since the the United Nations introduced the Oil-for-Food Programme in the mid-1990s.

Voters in Kurdistan and abroad will be asked a yes or no question: “Do you want the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistani areas outside the administration of the Region to become an independent state?”

The vote has been deemed “unconstitutional” by the central Iraqi government and will therefore not facilitate in-person voting which is one of the reasons online voting has been implemented.

The IHERC online voting website can be accessed here.

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