Election Universe

Verifiable electronic voting makes grand debut in Argentina

Verifiable electronic voting makes grand debut in Argentina
July 06 2015, 14:07

Last Sunday, July 5th, two cities from the province of Cordoba used a fully-verifiable electronic voting system to capture and process votes, marking the debut of verifiable electronic voting in Argentina. Thanks to the advanced technology deployed, authorities were able to release results only 45 minutes after voting ended.

La Falda and Marcos Juarez used 104 Smartmatic SAES-3377 voting machines. This London-headquartered company was also responsible for the transmission and consolidation of results.

Using a fully-verifiable voting solution, which provides a printed copy of each vote and allows election authorities to audit the source code of the machine, represents an important milestone for this South American nation.

For the last couple of decades, Argentina has been slowly adopting technology solutions to improve election administration. Since 1990, it’s been using a tallying system nationwide to process count reports and in 2003 it completed automating the national electoral registry.

In spite all of that, electronic voting has been used scarcely. In 2003 the province of Buenos Aires approved the legal framework to allow electronic voting. But since, little has been accomplished. This year, the City of Buenos Aires tried a system that is combines vote printing and vote scanning in one device. The provinces of Santiago de Estero, Cordoba, Chaco, Tucuman, Salta, Santa Fe, and La Rioja have also tested electronic voting, but none has proceeded to implement it on a regular basis in binding elections.

This first election using verifiable voting involved only these two cities – totaling some 35 thousand voters. In all other polling stations voting was manual, Smartmatic helped authorities process preliminary results by digitizing, consolidating and publishing results. Using different modules of its Election Managment System, Smartmatic was able to help the Tribunal Electoral process results.

Official results from manual-voting polls are not expected for at least a week.