Election Universe

Electronic voting in Venezuela, another successful election

Electronic voting in Venezuela, another successful election
December 09 2015, 23:12

On December 6, Venezuelans headed to the polls to elect 167 representatives to the National Assembly. Electronic voting played a key role in helping authorities run the election.

Only a few hours after polls closed, a first election results bulletin was published by Venezuela’s National Election Council. With 96% of the data transmitted, the opposition coalition was leading with 99 seats while government-aligned parties had 46. By Tuesday, the complete report, with 100% of the votes tallied, gave the Democratic Unity Roundtable 112 seats while 55 to the government’s party.

Although elections in Venezuela often times take place amidst a highly polarized and politically charged atmosphere, no major issues were reported. The 40,601 electronic voting machines deployed helped process ballots accurately and transparently, while another 40,601 voter biometric devices authenticated voters to manage identity and deter identity-related fraud.

After the election, Antonio Mugica, CEO for Smartmatic, the company in charge of providing the election technology and services used for more than a decade, stated “Amid a polarized political landscape, our technology was able to help deliver results accepted by all parties. The winner is and has always been the will of the people.”

There were 1,799 candidates competing for a seat in the legislature. All losing candidates conceded defeat immediately after the Election National Council declared the winners, something that speaks volumes about the transparency of the system and trust in the elections.

During the weeks leading up to the contest, the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance issued a report which read: “The Venezuelan voting system is completely automated and can be audited in all its phases. In 2004, Venezuela became one of the first countries in the world to carry out a national election with machines that printed voting vouchers, and in 2012 they introduced the biometric authentication of voters as a requisite for activating the machines.”

This same report also stated “The Mission considers that the strength of the Venezuelan voting process resides in the voting and tallying processes…”

Once again electronic voting proved to be a great tool to guarantee an efficiently managed election. Referring to the technology deployed, Leonel Fernandez, leader of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) observation mission, manifested “The Venezuelan voting system is solid and secure.”

Vicente Diaz, former member of Venezuela’s National Elections Council and part of the Democratic Unity Roundtable stated “Machines work flawlessly from the technical point of view. They do not alter the vote.”

Newly elected officials will begin their 5 year term in the parliament on January 5, 2016.