Twenty days away from the Colombian regional elections of October 30th, 2011, the names of elected Mayors in six municipalities are still unknown; besides, in Bogota, the make-up of the Council and local Management Boards have not been established. As of today, 260 claims from candidates have been counted.
In Bogota, the situation got to the point that the Registry requested the National Controller to perform a special audit of the process led by the District Vote Counting Commission. In this “revision”, errors were found in the completion of forms by election supervisors in 700 of the 13,545 precincts installed in Bogota. Besides, the Polo Democrático party requested an immediate intervention by the Colombian Attorney General due to reports related to alleged inconsistencies in the city´s electoral results.
On the other hand, as if it were not enough, liberal senator Juan Manuel Galán, denounced the Registry because according to him, there is an inner “cartel” soliciting money from candidates once elections are over, in exchange for having results changed.
Therefore, the implementation of a reliable, secure and accurate automated voting system is a latent need in Colombia. These regional elections once again arise questions that have become recurrent and are related with political will to apply electronic voting in the country.
Quick vote counting has been approved in Colombia, and in the case of presidential elections results are always known quickly, but when it comes to legislative and regional elections, the systems show their seams, the story is different and delays and denouncements are abundant and remain in force for some time.
Let us hope that with the proposal made by senator Juan Manuel Galán, toward the reform of the the Electoral Code, a “final step towards a biometric identification of voters and toward electronic voting” is taken, and ultimately leads to a modernization of Colombian elections.