Thursday, September 5, 2019

Election modernization moves forward in Argentina

Argentina held its Primary, Open, Simultaneous and Mandatory elections on Sunday, August 11. The primaries determine the candidates for the October 27, general elections. In addition to voting for president and vice president, voters will elect 130 federal deputies and 24 national senators next October.

During these 2019 primary elections, technology helped streamline unofficial results. Optical scanners were distributed to approximately 73% of polling centers to help digitize tallying reports and then transmit the information for further processing and publication. The technology deployed was critical in achieving three important feats:

1.       Delivery of provisional results in record time. The provisional tally reached 87.83% of telegrams computed by midnight, a record in the Argentine elections.

2.       Increased transparency. 88% of the provisional results were made public on Election Day. This is a major feat considering that in 2015, only 21.3% were processed on the day of the election. Political parties, authorities, and voters were able to monitor the entire process from end to end.

3.       Improved accuracy. Official results of the primaries (just released), in the 24 provinces of Argentina, confirmed the accuracy the provisional count. The difference between the provisional and the final count did not amount to more than 1% in any region.

The delivery of the results in record time, together with the confirmation by official results of the precision and transparency of provisional data published at midnight on Election Day, shows how technology can assist election officials in improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of its elections.