Act sooner rather than later on electronic voting, int’l reps say

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 15, 2017 09:48

Act sooner rather than later on electronic voting, int’l reps say

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  • E-voting has been a point of debate since the last elections, with the Democratic Party still mainly pushing for its implementation, reasoning that e-voting would help eradicate issues such as the buying and selling of votes

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TIRANA, Dec. 13 – U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu, said this week political actors should act quickly if they intend to apply electronic components in the next elections.

In the context of election technology, Lu also called for actors to comply with the recommendations given by OSBE-ODIHR, in order to avoid the issues that arose during the last elections.

Lu made the comments at a conference organized by the OSCE Presence, the Council of Europe and the Swedish Embassy to address new voting  technologies, best practices, as well as challenges.

Technology in elections is important, but there are problems, even in the United States, Lu said. He suggested Albania should comply with all OSBE/ODIHR recommendations before focusing solely on election technology.

In saying this, Lu mainly addressed the reform commission members primarily, but also politicians in general.

“If Albanians decide to follow a pilot project for 2019, they should identify finances and mechanisms. If you wait until next summer, it will turn out to be a failure,” he added, referring to pilot project of 2013, which ended up failing because of technical issues.

E-voting has been a point of debate since the last elections, with the Democratic Party still mainly pushing for its implementation, reasoning that e-voting would help eradicate issues such as the buying and selling of votes and general mistrust towards the election process.

The OSCE Head of Mission in Albania, Ambassador Bernd Borchardt, said there were many other issues regarding electoral reform beyond electronic voting, adding voting technology alone cannot build confidence in the electoral system.

“The last report on the June elections emphasized the need for robust action to address vote buying and abuse of state resources, including through prosecutions. New voting technologies can bring here only limited help. We welcome that the prosecution has opened cases on abuse of state resources and we call on the prosecution to follow as well the known cases on vote buying,” Borchard said.

He added: “Some OSCE Participating states are using new technologies, while others have stopped using them and have returned to paper-based electoral methods. The German Constitutional Court even forbade them as intransparent. Thus we need a very thorough discussion about the pros and cons of new voting technologies.”

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 15, 2017 09:48