Sunday 13 November 2011

Egyptians Abroad Voter Registration: Figures and Commentary.

After the uphill battle to allow Egyptians abroad the right to vote, the results are disappointing.

All figures are from the official site and can be found here: Note: According to the website, these figures are as of 8 Pm November 13th 2011 and will be updated hourly starting on the 14th,

Summary in case you're not interested in reading:
Out of an estimated 7-10 Million Egyptians Abroad (For simplifications sake we'll Assume 7 Million) only 99,118 Have registered to vote: Meaning 1.42% of those 7 Million Egyptians abroad have registered to vote.

Of those 99,118 , Over 71% of those Registered are living in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries. The KSA, UAE and Kuwait alone account for 70,419 of the 99,118 Registered Egyptian Voters abroad. Registered voters living in Saudi Arabia alone account for 41% of the total number of Egyptians Abroad Registered to vote.

Even if we assume that half of those 7 Million are under the age of 18 and thus cannot vote, that still means only 2.84% of Egyptians overseas have registered to vote.

According to the International Organization for Migration, Egyptians abroad contribute actively to the development of their country through remittances (US$ 7.8 Billion in 2009)
According to the World Bank "Egypt also came in the sixth place among the top 10 remittance recipients of Middle Income Countries (MICs) in 2007"

The Exact Numbers of Registered voters per country (In no Particular Order) are as follows:

Saudi Arabia (KSA) 40729
Kuwait 16346
United Arab Emirates (UAE) 13,344
Qatar 6727
Kingdom of Oman 1919
United States of America 4658
Canada 2518
Italy 2145
France 1043
Australia 999
Germany 916
Libya 115
Chile 3
Israel 7
Yemen 43
Mexico 10
Brazil 13
Argentine 16
Costa Rica 5
New Zealand 58
Indonesia 19
Thailand 11
Russia 52
Japan 95
China 80
Cambodia 2
Malaysia 118
India 25
Afghanistan 9
Iran 4
Pakistan 27
Kazakhstan 11
Turkey 50
Norway 72
Finland 54
Sweden 195
Poland 43
Denmark 85
England (Incorrectly listed as North Ireland) 11
Ireland  (Listed as Ireland) 118
Spain 134
Portugal 20
Romania 32
Czechoslovakia 42
Croatia 5
Austria 259
Hungary 34
Greece 247
Switzerland 318
Ukraine 23
North Korea 9
South Korea 26
Sudan 103
Algeria 82
Syria 7
Cyprus 102
Jordan 283
Tunisia 39
Morocco 64
Mauritania 10
Senegal 20
Nigeria 39
Ghana 27
Niger 39
Gabon 26
Kenya 23
Uganda 18
Angola 10
Zambia 16
Tanzania 11
Kenya 23
South Africa 113
Namibia 11
Mozambique 4

If i didn't list a number for Egyptians-Abroad Voter Registration for a particular country, it means I either missed it cause of the crap website, or it has 0 voters, but you can find the countries yourself here  (And you'll understand why I'm calling it a crap site. Link is in Arabic)

Now Considering the breakdown of the Data, If the SCAF or whoever decides to screw Egyptians abroad from voting (Even after everything that's happened), The Simplest claim could be "Due to registration numbers being so low in comparison to the High Costs and Logistics, We've decided to not send voting committees overseas during this election"

The reasons the numbers of registered voters are so low may vary widely;

  • It could be because of this statement obtained via @TyAbouZeid  which claims only those ID's issued before Sept 27th 2011 can vote (Keeping in mind that the Consulates/Embassies have just recently started issuing ID's as well as the fact that the court decision to allow Egyptians Abroad to vote was obtained long after that deadline date). 
  • The numbers could be due to high costs or high inconvenience such as exemplified by @LoveThePeople "My parents want to register but said it costs $75 US (To Issue an ID) & they're on very fixed, low income. (I offered to help but won't allow me)" Or as exemplified by @AyaKhalil "Yeah. I can't really vote because I don't have a consulate near me at all. can't fly to DC #PoorGraduateStudent"
  • Hesitancy due to the warning message on the website (via @YSalah ) when you come to register that states that "Submitting this form will remove your name from the local registry inside Egypt, and you can only vote at the embassy inside the country you register in. This request cannot be cancelled. Are you sure you want to submit this request?"
  • Possibly due to registration still on going, meaning the numbers aren't final yet. 
  • Lack of  Awareness of registration (Not publicized enough)
  • Lack of Political Awareness in general.
  • Lack of Interest (In cases where those Egyptians have Zero ties to Egypt or no intentions of returning to Egypt, Which I seriously doubt are more than a couple of hundred people) 
  • Hypothetically: The numbers could simply be fake, For political purposes.
This could all be part of a Political game by the SCAF : (If we can't stop them from demanding the right to vote, we'll stop the majority from being able to vote.)

The biggest question in regards to the numbers I listed for registered Egyptian abroad voters, Other than the question of why the numbers are so low, is which side those voters lean towards. While there is no conclusive proof that those in GCC countries have Islamist or MB leanings, it is generally implied as exemplified by a brief conversation with @AhmedWagih ;
Me: " I wonder what the percentage of Egyptians abroad have MB or Islamic leanings"
@AhmedWagih : "I m a regular traveler between Cairo & Riyadh, one look at the majority of passengers will give you the answer in the largest concentration "
Me: "May you please clarify what you mean?"
@AhmedWagih : " The point is my dear that the majority of Egyptians in the Gulf will probably vote Islamists!"

But again, I have been unable to find any polls or conclusive numbers that prove that the Egyptians in the GCC countries have islamist leanings. But if they do, The results of the votes by Egyptians Abroad can be skewed by MB or Islamists in campaigns to their causes; The skew in that case could be claims that "even those abroad support Islamists", regardless of fact that numbers are unrepresentative. To the Average Egyptian, when they hear the word "Abroad" they think Europe or the west. Not GCC countries. There have been unconfirmed reports that the Muslim Brotherhood have paid the National ID issuing fees of people willing to vote for them that cannot afford the fees to issue an ID for whatever reason, as well as their own members,

I'm much more interested to know what % of those registered Egy-abroad voters are members of the Muslim Brotherhood: The Egyptian branch & otherwise.

There are no coincidences in Egypt.


  1. I think its really early for an analysis like this. a lot of Egyptians abroad are yet unaware of the system and the embassies and consulates are only now motivating people more. The deadline is still on the 19th. Furthermore, I am kind of doubtful of the figures there. Being one of the 11 registered in the UK aka northern Ireland I can assure you the number registered is higher than that.

  2. no coincidences indeed , voices warning about GCC voters are mostly correct " i mean when it comes to elections , they will vote for Islamist " but the judiciary verdict had opened a door that was strictly shut by scaf & former regime , may be we will gain the benefits later ... finally ,really thanks for bringing that up professionally like this i was really impressed :)

  3. The first 2 reasons why the numbers are so low from the last paragraph are absolutely misleading,inadequate and false!
    EVERYBODY knows the registration is for FREE, Also it is common for the consulates and embassies to issue ID's during the year in certain times.

    BE FAIR if you want to judge

  4. Protest at Dundas Square Toronto, Nov.19th against Military Trials for civilians#NoMilTrials #FreeAlaa

  5. The registration web site is very flaky and totally unreliable.