Reaching consensus around an idea that impacts politics in a big way is a gargantuan task. However, Honduras has managed to do just that, getting the political parties and the electoral authorities on board to implement e-voting in the country.
Hondurans vote using a manual system that’s compromised at a great scale: numerical inconsistencies, a monopoly of the system by government members, preliminary results transmitted over the phone, tampering of the precinct counts, unilateral migration of voters, and one of the best known sources of fraud – delays in publishing the results of the voters’ choice.
Aware of this situation, Honduras has taken a decisive step for the modernization of their voting system by passing last week the implementation of e-voting. The goal is to automate the November general elections, and a multidisciplinary commission has been assembled to evaluate the system’s viability.
Whether this Central American country configures the voting platform in time for the 2013 elections or not, what’s transcendental about the situation in Honduras is that most of the sectors of society which have to approve e-voting are decided to do so.
The magister-secretary of the Honduran High Electoral Court (TSE), Enrique Ortez Sequeira, summarized: “for this new voting system to be implemented a certain infrastructure is needed, which for me, depends on political will”. His remarks hit the target: Honduras managed to gather the political will of key figures around changing the nation’s voting system, and giving the country clean, quick, secure and transparent elections.
The country’s decision lends strength to the path already chosen by other Latin American nations (Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, and Peru). By using e-voting or by taking steps towards adopting it, they are leading the nations that defend the will of their people from political tricks and the weakness of government institutions.
With its use of electoral technology, Honduras took on the challenge of modernizing its voting system. It’s now up to the authorities not to squander this great possibility, and to follow the necessary steps so that its implementation meets the highest standards of quality, as well as the nation’s norms and idiosyncrasies.