As Ecuador prepares to hold its general elections in less than a month, observers have expressed concerns over the use of an election technology which did not go through the regular procurement process.
This developed after the National Electoral Council (CNE) declared a failed bidding for the procurement of “service of data transmission between the CNE and the 1,818 Publication and Transmission Centers (Rtpa), used for the transmission of data from scanned precinct counts.”
Instead, the poll body has accepted a donation from the government of South Korea consisting of 2,000 digitalization and transmission machines.
Observers are worried, though, that the Korean machines will not be up to specifications.
While the CNE has expressed satisfaction over the system’s performance in a mock election, political parties have decried the lack of transparency in the testing. They are hoping that the next test on February 5 will shed light on their questions.
Former Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernández, who belongs to the observation team, said that he is concerned over several aspects of the polls including voter rolls, the IT system, and the scanners that will be used for the transmission of results.
In 2014, Ecuadorians had to endure a month-long delay before official results could be announced due to the failed performance of the Spanish company Scytl. Now, voters are hoping against hope that the untried donated technology will somehow suit the country’s complex election needs.