In Venezuela, opposition and governing party agree: the system is reliable


Political actors show their trust in the automated platform

In light of the upcoming December 8 elections, where 2,792 local posts will be renewed by popular election, the main leaders of the political factors of the contest called to participation and guaranteed the reliability of the automated platform. The sole fact that they coincide is news in itself.

The current vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Diosdado Cabello, expressed his trust in the authorities, the electoral system, and showed the commitment of the party to respect the results announced by the National Electoral Council, whatever they are.

On the other side, the opposing command has made an emphasis in promoting voting and trust in the electoral platform. The former presidential candidate and current governor of Miranda, Henrique Capriles Radonski, who leads this call, had already expressed his trust in voting machines in May this year. On that occasion, he assured that suffrage devices “did not steal the election from him” and that they are not related to electoral fraud in Venezuela.

In his defense of the automated electoral platform, Capriles Radonski assures: “… I tell our people and our public servants: neither the voting machines nor the fingerprint scanners tell who you vote for. Your vote is secret. It has been proven that voting machines or vote transmission do not change the votes.” Thus spoke the opposing leader on a video that is being distributed in social networks and whose first intention is to invite citizens to vote, to participate in citizen verification, and to work as witnesses of the electoral process.

Thus we can see how the Venezuelan opposition is directing its strategy towards calling to vote and avoiding absenteeism, and it does so by using the robustness of the automated voting platform Venezuela has nowadays.


The Latin-American approach to e-voting in 2010

Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Puerto Rico and Mexico are a sample of the Latin-American countries that are studying the electronic vote as a solution to modernize their electoral systems, or have already started to implement it.

To understand why this is happening in the region, we can take a look at what’s happening in Colombia, as an example. Colombians still use manual vote but the results are known in a very short time. However, there are two big deficiencies with this system: the results are extra official, and the success of the vote count depends on the type of election that is taking place. If the elections are for President, the numbers are known almost in real-time, but if the elections are legislative, the scenery changes, as weeks may pass before the results are known.

Ecuador is expecting to implement automated voting. Since last may, The National Electoral Council is evaluating three alternatives to automate the electoral processes of 2013. Even though it seems as these were merely the first steps to modernize the Ecuadorian electoral system, truth is that the nation approved a pilot in 2004 which used160 machines that were provided by the Brazilian government. The great success of this first approach to electronic vote settled the basis for the implementation of the electronic vote in 2006.

Puerto Rico, as an associated state of the United States, enjoys the political and economic benefits of the American nation, which helps Puerto Rico, drive its development. However, the island is stuck with an anachronistic electoral system (operational and regulatory), which sets it apart from the advances achieved by the United States in this field. Because of this, the actual government is propelling an important electoral reform. This reform includes the inclusion of electronic voting, which is expected to be released in the general elections of 2012.

Meanwhile in Peru, after a long political struggle, electronic voting became a reality as a way of fulfilling a national need. In October 24th, 2010, the Congress of the Republic approved the bill for the gradual and progressive introduction of electronic voting. The country needed less than five years to achieve this, because even though the Law No. 28581 of 2005 ordered the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) to approve the vote automation, the process was long paralyzed due to the denial on the approval of the legal instrument that makes automation possible.

Peruvian authorities approved last year the regulation of electronic voting. The legal text concerns the procedure for exercising the right to vote, as well as the technical steps to be executed in an election day.

In Mexico, Demetrio Navarro Tinarejo (Coordinator of the Electoral Training Area of the Electoral Institute and Civic Training (IECC) of Jalisco), successfully presented a proposal for implementing the e-vote in the 2012 elections. This electoral technology has been already proven in three municipalities of Jalisco. Navarro Tinarejo emphasized on the optimal results that the system has thrown, in order to demonstrate that the technology can be used and implemented with no setbacks.