Peru successfully used electronic voting for the first time


The past June 5th, electronic voting technology was used in Peru for the first time and the system designed by the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) was tested to enforce the Law No. 28,581 dated 2005, which ordered the gradual and progressive automation of the vote.

The road for fulfilling the need of the Peruvians to have a secure fast and reliable electoral system took years, but now the Latin-American country can show the world that is ready to implement, as quickly as possible, electronic voting throughout the country.

The first experiment was small, but turned in positive results. The province of Cañete, in the district of Pacarán was the selected location to deploy the first polling day with modern technology, for which three polling stations were equipped with voting machines so that 1345 citizens could exercise suffrage. The results of the vote were obtained 30 minutes after the closing, and the receipt counting was done one hour later.

It is based on the use of a card that activates the voting options in the touch screen voting when it’s inserted into the voting machine. The voter presses the preferred option, the system processes and stores the votes to finally end the process by issuing a paper proof of vote. The latter is deposited in an urn as physical proof of electronic record. The results are transmitted via satellite to a data center

The Peruvian electronic dynamic has strong reference to the technology used by other nations. Touch screens are used in the United States, Europe and Venezuela. Of the latter, was also taken the issue of the receipt of the vote, where the mechanism was popularized and spread to other nations. The activation card has been used for many years in Belgium.

To replicate and adapt was the strategy used by Peru, and will be undoubtedly an example for other countries to advance in their own electoral process automation. Now, the political must concatenate with the national need, so that successful electronic voting test proven with over 1000 citizens, will benefit in the short term, the 20 million Peruvians who now comprise the census elections.