Roum Catholic? – The First 2013 Elections Ad

The ministry of internal affairs has started its preparatory campaign for the 2013 elections by telling people to check their name on the voters lists before March 10th, which I told you to do a few days ago (link).

As part of its attempt at getting the Lebanese voter to feel more involved, especially that it pertains to bureaucratic stuff most people don’t want to feel concerned with, they have launched the following funny ad, which plays on the different types of Lebanese people who might be “violated” by errors on the lists:

The last 2 seconds of the ad are beyond hilarious, which is probably what might get some people to go to this website (link) and check if their name is correctly listed.

And if you thought the Roum Catholic part is far-fetched, just check out this screenshot (link) from the lists of my hometown.

PS: They are brothers.

13 thoughts on “Roum Catholic? – The First 2013 Elections Ad

  1. Fill me in on this, aren’t you registered at birth? So doesn’t that mean there would exist some sort of database to begin with? Who issues your passports?


    • We are registered and once you turn 21 your name goes on the voters lists. But sometimes, the lists contain some spelling mistakes or errors that are just simple human errors and they could prevent you from voting.
      They happen because it’s not like say in the US where you have to register to vote. Anyone who is above 21 and not a felon is eligible and their name will be there.


      • I see. So the problem must have started with those people who copied your name to the voters lists. Otherwise your name is always one and the same unless you had it changed. I am trying to figure out the public management error behind this.

        We don’t register to vote either. Here you simply get a unique voting card sent to you a few weeks prior to the elections. In order to vote, you will have to take that with you to the voting ballot as well as some sort of identification. The system is pretty flawless and is used for municipal/provincial/national/european elections.


        • Yeah the problem is with the transfer onto the database. The Arabic language, with its many dots and whatnot, makes such errors especially troubling. My mother’s name missed one dot and it became an entirely different name. The letter “D” and the letter “R” and written almost in the same way with R having a softer curve than the D’s right angle. If both letters are confused as well, it’s an entirely different name.
          And sometimes they miss your name altogether. It’s a work in progress but with accuracy of over 95% I assume, it still works.

          We had voting cards here up to the 2005 elections. They canceled them in 2009 and now you can vote via any form of ID. But the voter’s card only served as identification. The mistakes still existed – and you couldn’t actually do anything about them back then. Your town’s “mayor” – not really a mayor but he holds an office responsible to deal with your paperwork – has to go over the list every year and make sure every single person’s name is correct.
          Most don’t because it’s tedious especially if you come from a big town like mine or God forbid you actually come from a city with thousands upon thousands of names.



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