A Venezuelan party decided its future with e-voting


There are system that it extended its application, rather than reliable, there are still clinging to their old “glory”. A classic example, at least in Venezuela, was the manual vote. After nearly 40 years of use, the idea of automating the vote was strongly rejected by the political class, but the inefficiency of this model, along with the opportunity provided for the offence, were creating the need for progress started now ranks Venezuela as one of the most advanced and successful in the adoption of electronic vote.

On June 10, in this country, was fulfilled a new election date that tested the degree of penetration and trust the automation of the vote. The new party, Voluntad Popular (Popular Will), which is led by former mayor Leopoldo Lopez, one of the most visible leader of the opposition to president Hugo Chavez decided to hold the first elections in its history to choose the board of directors that opened its political career, using the same electronic vote system that the nation use since 2004.

The characteristics of the process fell short in magnitude of a constitutional election. But what they were identical, they used the same voting machines which Venezuelans decide their future trough the ballot boxes, and even used the same election and tallying system established in the country.

For the process, the National Electoral Counsil served as logistical and technical support enabling 1180 polling centers in Venezuela, with an equal number of voting machines, since the party called on all registered in the National Registry (17.8 million voters). The elections were met normally, and even the election that was complex, had no problems. Each voter could cast up to 13 votes in the machine: 4 for the National team, 3 for the regional team, 2 for the municipal team and 3 for the youth team.

This election event was more than a domestic partisan. It showed that regardless of ideology or sympathy, Venezuelan electronic vote, which system and voting machines where provided by Smartmatic, is approved by the majority of the country.

Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) is an organization that declared opposition to Chavez regime but that condition did not prevent the automated system relies on its organizational future and decided trough the electronic vote.

The experience leaves the record, that electronic vote can be used under any socio-political situation. In all democratic countries are usual partisan differences and are deeply rooted in Venezuela between government and opposition, but this really did not dent the confidence of the automated system.

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