Electronic Voting in Jalisco—A Tragic Domino Effect


With the tests performed over the electronic platform last March 25th falls a new piece in this domino effect that elections in Jalisco have become.

The first piece that started the tragic chain reaction was the alleged participation of the selected company (Pounce Consulting) in the design of the terms for the bid to select the provider of electronic ballot boxes in Jalisco. According to the electoral counselor, Nauhcatzin Bravo Aguilar, there is a document created by Pounce Consulting, which shows how the company was involved in the creation—at its own convenience—of the terms. With this advantage, Pounce Consulting had tailored the bid process according to its own needs. “This document was used as a source for the elaboration of the terms of the public bid by the Computing Division of the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute in Jalisco…”, declared Bravo Aguilar in a press release. Credibility of the process had been damaged at its very inception.

The domino effect continued with the subsequent hiring of Pounce Consulting. This company, which lacks experience in the development or implementation of electronic voting technology, was considerably late in the delivery of the electronic ballot boxes for which it had been hired, threatening the electoral schedule.

Problems keep arising as preparations for elections continue. The last piece to fall did so during the firsttest of the technological platform that is to be used during the July elections. According to important information from different media, 40% of the ballot boxes did not emit the information they contained. Even though IEPCJ minimized irregularities and attributed failures to setbacks related to access to electricity and the lack of coverage of cell phone networks, Mexicans—especially Jaliscans—should worry about the ineptitude of the electoral authorities and the company that is in charge of the upcoming democratic appointment.

As if this weren’t enough, the pressure exerted by public opinion is such that the counselor from the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute (IEPC), Juan José Alcalá Dueñas, expressed the following (regretful) declarations: “If we make a mistake in e-voting, we are burying it not only for Jalisco, but for the whole country; we are delaying it for 20 more years.” This decision would seriously affect the Mexican people, which have a right to transparent, secure, and reliable electronic voting processes. Electronic voting has shown in numerous elections around the world that, when it is carried out by competent companies, its reliability is complete, and its advantages surpass those of manual voting, Dr. Alcalá added.

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