26 countries will experience electoral processes during 2015. These will be predominantly for the renovation of legislative bodies, as 19 territories will be electing parliament representatives, while eight nations will vote for presidents and two will carry out referenda.
The most intense electoral environment will focus on Europe, where 10 countries will hold elections using manual voting. Switzerland -a pioneer in different e-voting models, will hold elections where it will test out on-site automated suffrage as well as online voting. This way, suffrage will be possible not only for citizens within the national territory, but also for those living abroad.
The rest of European countries holding elections will continue entrenched in traditional suffrage. However, after approving a law that enables system automation in 2006, Finland is evaluating electoral technology used around the world in order to adopt the one they deem most adequate. The country will hold Parliament elections in April.
On the other hand, Africa and the Americas will hold 6 elections this year. Several nations in the Americas will conduct pilot tests in order to modernize their suffrage. Mexico, for instance, will implement an e-voting pilot test facing its Congress elections in June. Meanwhile, Argentina will reconfirm its allegiance to automated tallying.
Argentinians will have a very active electoral calendar, which will kick off on February 8th with primary elections in some regions and might end in November in case there is a runoff for the October presidentials. A few areas of this nation already have laws establishing the automation of processes, and some districts began to use it in 2011. However, there is no nationwide government plan to enable the adoption of technology across the nation. In spite of this, several provinces will test out the difference between automation and manual voting. Electronic tallying will make a huge difference in the way votes are tallied and aggregated in the country.
While Guatemala will hold general elections in September, albeit showing no signs of advancement to overcome the flaws of manual voting (there was an automated suffrage pilot test in 2002, but since then the implementation of technology has stagnated); Canada expects six of its provinces to essay e-voting, as approved in 2011. These are Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.
In light of this report, 2015 is guaranteed to be a year of electoral challenges for many nations. This will also represent an opportunity to confirm, once again, that electoral automation technology is undoubtedly the most beneficial tool to safeguard the people’s intent.