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Let the irregularities begin

Al Jazeera finds evidence of at least one ruling party supporter campaigning on polling day in defiance of  Egypt's electoral laws.

Last modified: 28 Nov 2010 09:47
Photo by Reuters

Here is a video I just shot outside of a polling station in Cairo. Campaigning on election day is banned and especially so close to a polling station, but this supporter, who is endorsing an NDP-affiliated candidate, clearly got passed the layers of security and is blasting music for everyone to hear in this Muslim Brotherhood stronghold. 

Here is also a picture of a ballot from one of the districts in upper Egypt. This ballot was obtained late on Saturday before the polls opened. Its  what monitors call the "revolving ballot".

Here is how it works: This ballot is given to an individual ahead of the election with a selection of the candidate already checked off in the box. When the voter goes inside the polling station and is given a new clean unmarked ballot he swaps it out with the one given to him with the already-marked ballot. When he brings the empty ballot out of the polling station he is given a small amount of money. 

Nearly two hours after polls opened, this school in Shobra el Kheima was still closed for reasons unclear to the voters who were waiting outside. Officials are inside and preparations seemed to have been finalised on time from where we were standing but no voters were allowed in. 



In Egypt, the state works to separate religion from politics but here in this conservative country, politics can be religious.
Although it's illegal to campaign at religious sites like churches or mosques, or use any religious slogans or symbols in your campaign, the picture below proves otherwise.

At Friday prayers before Sunday's vote, at a mosque in central Cairo, banners of candidates belonging to the NDP are clearly on display at the front of the mosque right above the Imam who lead the weekly sermon.

NDP candidates have also been filmed campaigning in churches in Alexandria.

 

The 'revolving ballot'

Here is how it works: This ballot is given to an individual ahead of the election with a selection of the candidate already checked off in the box.

When the voter goes inside the polling station and is given a new clean unmarked ballot he swaps it out with the one given to him with the already-marked ballot.

When he brings the empty ballot out of the polling station he is given a small amount of money by the person who brought him the original previously marked ballot.

This tends to happen on the night before the election, throughout the day.

This particular ballot, watch video below, was allegedly given out to supporters of an NDP candidate in a cairo suburb.  



Outside a polling station in a Cairo suburb, voters supporting Independent candidate Mohammed El Beltagy are denied entrance into a polling station.

Dr Beltagy, a current MP and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is seen in the middle of the screen in the video below while police prevent him from entering. The video was provided by Dr Beltagy's media office.



Evan Hill, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Mansoura, obtained the video below from a witness who filmed scenes of violence outside a polling station in the city.