On February 19th, Ecuador will be holding general elections. In preparation for this event, the National Electoral Council (CNE) carried out their third simulation test of the electoral infrastructure and declared themselves ready.
According to the authorities, during the last test before the elections – February 5th – the 1,799 locations that will be working during election day were activated, and their operational readiness was proved.
CNE President Juan Pablo Pozo stated the system is “completely ready” to fulfil the process, where a new President, 137 members of the National Assembly, and 5 legislators for the Andean Parliament will be elected.
“All systems have passed the certification norms the Electoral Council has today; therefore, we guarantee the country this will be a flawless process”, stated Pozo, without mentioning the results of the test. Regrettably, there is little know about the the performance of the quick count – previously an exit poll, and now in the hands of the CNE. There were also no comments on the performance of the donated scanners that will be used to put the certified electoral returns online.
Political parties have voiced concerns about the voter roll and as the quick count process; the latter aims to deliver preliminary results three hours after the polls close.
Some political spokespeople have also voiced concerns over the selection of the Vote Reception Boards, which will be in charge of issuing non-official results, given the fact they were not chosen in accordance to the nation’s voting distribution and the risk which that entails.
Other political parties have questioned the lack of audits on the technology, the voter rolls, and the system itself. Gilmar Gutiérrez, leader of Partido Sociedad Patriótica (PSP), denied that any party has attended the alleged revisions carried out by the CNE.
Despite the concerns, the stage is set in Ecuador. 12.8 million voters are called to the polls. Both the non-official results and the use of equipment to scan the election returns and transmit them are generating more suspicions than certainties, but we will have to wait to evaluate this process on which the nation’s political stability depends.