In light of the lack of an e-voting project at the federal level, several Argentinian provinces have chosen to go one step ahead and experiment with electoral technology in recent years. Only this year, the governments of Buenos Aires, Posadas, Misiones, and Mendoza approved the use of some form of e-voting system for the 2015 elections.
In their transition toward e-voting, the regions of Salta, Córdoba, and Santa Fe have implemented the model known as the electronic ballot box with smart ballots, which is not a comprehensive e-voting solution but a device designed to automate tallying.
This experience—which has yielded positive results sometimes, and sometimes has presented problems—should be taken as a trampoline into the advancement of e-voting implementation, rather than being seen as the “fast way” to perform automation.
Argentina has the possibility of enjoying all the benefits that electronic suffrage has to offer. These range from the effective validation of voters’ identities and a simple voting process, to the digital and printed recording of each vote, as well as the tallying, aggregation, and transmission of results, and the system audits throughout all stages.
To go from using only automated tallying, still favoring manual suffrage, to delivering a 100% automated voting system is the decision that the authorities must make in 2015. These regions are facing the option to bet on improving their current voting system, one where human error—intentional or unintentional—is minimized while speeding up and streamlining processes that are simply impossible in traditional elections.
Electoral guarantees are at the decision-makers’ reach. Only political responsibility and respect toward the people’s intent will make it possible for e-voting to dominate Argentina’s suffrage.