Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Peru successfully completes e-voting trials

Image: ONPE Website

After several days of testing and showcasing the benefits of e-voting systems, the inhabitants of the Cañete municipality in Pacarán had the opportunity to experience an automated election for the first time: the July 7th municipal elections.

The Chief of the Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE), Mariano Cucho, was pleased by the fact that it took the electorate only 30 seconds to cast their votes, confirming that new technologies can be used efficiently during voting processes. He stated that “e-voting is really simple, which grants faster results”.

School N° 20174 was selected to carry out this first e-voting experience. A total of 1,361 voters in Pacarán were allowed to exercise their right to vote in the 3 polling stations set up at the institution.

Taking into account the importance of training both voters and polling station workers, voting simulations were conducted during the days leading to the actual election in order those exposed to the new technology, so that they could vote confidently and without hassles. There was an emphasis on explaining to the public the security mechanisms offered by e-voting.

On the other hand, polling station members had the chance to see the swiftness of e-voting in action, particularly during vote counting, and to certify how automation makes their work easier by subtracting human error from the process. 

This experience proves one more how e-voting keeps gaining strength as the best option to safeguard and improve democracy. The Peruvian electoral authorities now face the great challenge of extending this successful trial experience in Pacarán to other territories, until elections are automated in the entire Inca nation.