Peru is currently one of the South American countries that work the hardest to pursue the automation of its electoral system. Years of technology searching, a national referendum, and technical tests have made it possible to deploy an e-voting platform tailor-made for the South American nation.
The automated system designed by the National Office for Electoral Processes has only been used in three electoral processes so far. However, there will be a new attempt this Sunday, this time in the country’s capital, Lima. The district of Santa María del Mar will elect the 22 province aldermen that were revoked last March on an election where e-voting was used.
Peru’s automated suffrage is based on the use of a card that activates the options (candidates) to vote for when introduced in the voting machine. Voters press their desired selection, the system processes and saves the vote, and finally, the process is closed with the emission of a paper receipt that shows the selection. This receipt is inserted in a box as a physical evidence of the electronic registry. Results are transmitted via satellite to a data center.
For the sake of completeness, a drill where all the logistic and technical stages were tested took place some days ago, with optimum results. Arturo Revoredo, Junior Organization Manager at ONPE, stated that the technology and organization used in the district of Pacarán (Cañete) were implemented. This is the only province with experience in automation until now.
He indicated that “e-voting will be implemented gradually and progressively in order to generate trust from both the voters and political organizations, the same way it was done in Pacarán.” Next stage consists in deploying the technology 10 districts in Lima during the 2014 elections. Peru’s strategy is not to be daunted by the barrier set by the Executive Power not assigning the necessary resources to produce the equipment that would make it possible to automate elections in more circuits, and also to guarantee the information campaign for voters and the training program for the electoral staff.
ONPE has made an effort to continue deploying its technology, and next Sunday’s elections will show the authorities again that it is up to them that the nation stops chasing the goal to focus on the implementation of the system that will give real guarantees to voters and Democracy.