Mexico’s presidential elections will take place next July 1st. After five drills, the Electoral Institute of Citizen Participation in Jalisco will use 981 electronic ballot boxes in two districts of the Mexican state.
Thus informed the president of the Institute, Tomás Figueroa, who pointed out that the next challenge is the training of the party representatives in the 43 towns where the automation pilot will take place.
According to Figueroa, they are ready for any setback, which is why they will have regular ballots in hand, in case the method fails. “This is in order for no Jaliscan to be left out from voting.” People with vision disabilities will also be able to vote through a braille reading system for “no additional cost.”
Another relevant aspect to be considered is that the observation mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) will supervise the July 1 electoral process in the land of Benito Juárez.
However, not all has worked according to plan. The automation process for two Jalisco districts has been marred by a tender, which did not seem too fair from the beginning. Right now they are in the middle of a dispute, which includes a lawsuit from the Pounce Consulting company to the Electoral Institute of Citizen Participation. The company alleges the lack of payment of 6.7 million pesos and breach of contract for the production of a thousand electronic ballot boxes.
The Research and Development director of the firm, Mauricio Gómez, pointed out that it remains to be seen how the delivery of electronic ballot boxes will conclude.
In January 2010, the Institute started the project to acquire the 1000 electronic ballot boxes that would be used in the July 1 election. In May 2011, Pounce Consulting got the contract for the machines through a direct award. The company terminated the contract with IEDF last April 9 due to a lack of payment and omission of the required specifications for the machines. IEDF has kept a low profile during the lawsuit. They are sure they will win the dispute. They think that Pounce Consulting did not comply with the delivery times for the equipment and provided extremely poor quality prototypes.