Peru: The October 5th electronic voting deployment went far better than expected
In the recent Peruvian elections held on October 5th e-voting was provided in seven electoral districts. It was quite astonishing to hear that 85% of the electorate in those districts opted to use the electronic voting channel provided. This is indeed a grand rate of social acceptance for the solution provided considering that this was the first time e-voting has been provided to those districts. But how did we come to this model first-time e-voting deployment? Several factors contributed their equal share.
To start with Peru’s National Office of Electoral Processes (La Oficina Nacional de Procesos Electorales, ONPE) has been doing a very professional job ever since 2010 when the strategic decision to go for e-voting was taken. It is worth mentioning that for the 2014 e-voting deployment their action plan included ISO certification of the novel electoral processes along with quality control processes being run by external international organizations.
The technology was provided by Scytl and it is quite obvious from the participation rate that there were no problems there. Scytl also claim up to 40% cost savings for the ONPE in comparison to traditional ballots from the specific solution provided in this instance, which is not negligible. But there is something more to it when examining the case of Peru. Scytl has a significant development center based in Peru with more than one hundred local staff. This is not to be ignored when elaborating on the trust bonds between the main contributors of this e-voting deployment. In a way Peru and Scytl are co-developing the solution provided.
Scytl’s permanent large-scale presence in Peru builds confidence both for the ONPE as well as the Peruvian electorate. In this case the technology provider is no longer a stranger. Seeing is believing, and the Peruvian can actually see Scytl to whom they entrust their electoral practices. Peru has every reason to maintain this course with regard to e-voting. Everything has been going well for them so far and the commitment is there from all sides to take things further towards more scalable solutions. It looks like Peru will become Scytl’s show case example for all Latin America countries.