On October 25, Latin America will hold presidential elections in three countries: Argentina, Guatemala, and Haiti. The elections come after these three nations had to sort out complicated logistic and technical issues which compromised recent elections and generated doubts about their capacity to deliver reliable results.
This South American country carried out general elections in the midst of its strongest electoral crisis in recent times. Throughout the year, Argentina carried out a series of elections in which their manual voting system proved to be inefficient, to say the least. The most emblematic case of how poorly run the election were took place in the province of Tucuman. Initially, after violent protests erupted, the elections were annulled. But later, this measure was revoked by election authorities.
Many leaders and civil associations have come together to promote election automation. This includes going beyond the electronic tallying system implemented in some provinces, such as Salta.
National deputy Julio Cobos, Senate candidate, was emphatic when stating: “it is necessary to advance toward e-voting in order to eliminate difficulties in elections.” “The technology available nowadays is not expensive, schools don’t have to close for days, there’s no paying for ballots.”
Back in September, during the first round of the Presidential elections, the High Electoral Court (TSE) was not able to announce official final results due to the multiple irregularities that occurred during the process.
In spite this major setback, authorities seem confident that they will overcome the obstacles and deliver a good election. However, manual voting remains an obstacle. In light of this looming crisis, the observation mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) asked for “patience and temperance.”
Although electoral automation is not up for debate in Guatemala, it could certainly become part of the public agenda depending on the results of the second round.
The poorest nation in the continent will be carrying out its presidential runoff after first round with delayed results, political violence and errors on voter lists. The contest proved so problematic that in 25 districts it had to be repeated.
This situation provoked the emergence of the Patriotic Resistance group, which demands the dissolution of the electoral commission, the annulment of the first round, and the establishment of a transitional government. Nevertheless, the mission from the United Nations (UN) hoped that global support would be able to take the process to completion last Sunday.
Due to their technical and resource deficiencies, carrying out elections has become a titanic task for Haiti. Although support from the international community has been a constant ever since the 2010 earthquake, the need to renovate its election system and build greater political stability persists.