Los Angeles as a world reference in electoral technology


The County of Los Angeles —the largest in the United States— is modernizing its electoral technology in view of the 2020 elections. The solution it will offer to its voters will place it at the forefront in electoral matters.

In 2009 the city initiated the “Voting Solutions for All People” (VSAP) project seeking to replace its current electoral system, thus heeding the call of experts who have warned about the need for the country to update the multiple voting models used, since each county is autonomous in the management of its electoral system.

Although the project has been in development for more than a decade, it was in mid-2018 when decisive steps were taken to modernize the way Angelenos vote, and thus correct a good portion of the electoral obsolescence problems that the entire United States have long been enduring.

Specifically, in June 2018, Los Angeles authorities signed a contract with multinational Smartmatic, which makes it the provider of voting machines and software to be used by this Californian city from 2020 onward. Moreover, voters in Los Angeles County will be preparing for the next Presidential Primary election.

For the moment, the new system is expected to bestow a definite advantage to Los Angeles in the use of electoral technology in the country, since in addition to being the first Open Source electoral tool, it is projected to stand out as a voting model that encompasses all the benefits of automation (security, speed, transparency, secrecy) and also fits the characteristics of Angelino electors.

In that sense, the new electronic vote is expected to provide all the guarantees allowed by technology, while also counting with innovations such as the Interactive Ballot. Dean Logan, Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, whose department is in charge of registering voters, maintaining voter files, and managing federal, state, local and special elections, explained that the Interactive Ballot will allow to vote via mobile phones prior to the elections, so that on Election Day voters can scan the QR code in person and have an speedy and simple election experience at the vote center.

The improvements do not end there. Also, the renewed electronic vote for Los Angeles will have facilities for those voters with a disability, and even those who do not master English fully will see their access to the system optimized. Another key element that will emerge strengthened from the updated process will be the tallying.

These are several of the goodies that to be brought by the electronic vote that LA will start using next year.

Its development and implementation will put LA at the forefront in the use of electoral technology, since it will not only help voters feel more secure, but also will show that with the right tools, no action aimed at subverting the popular will is worth trying.