Online voting, key to maintaining social distancing in voting centers

Boca Raton, United States - May 27, 2020 –A study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Ball State University in the United States confirmed that polling stations with high volumes of voters increase the spread of the coronavirus.

In their report, based on the April 7 Wisconsin primary, Chad D. Cotti, Bryan Engelhardt and three other contributors wrote, “...counties which had more in-person voting per voting location (all else equal) had a higher rate of positive COVID-19 tests than counties with relatively fewer in-person voters. Furthermore, we find a consistent negative relationship between absentee voting and the rate of positive COVID-19 tests.”

To help countries comply with social distancing protocols during elections, Smartmatic is offering TIVI, its secure, auditable online voting platform. By allowing people to vote from anywhere, authorities can reduce the number of people in polling centers and thereby minimize the risk of viral spread among voters and election officials.

“Online voting can play a key role in helping comply with social distancing. We are aware that not everyone can vote online, but this alternative channel can help those who want to take advantage of it to help reduce the number of voters per voting center,” said Andrés Rombolá, president of Smartmatic Latin America.

Smartmatic's online voting platform was developed in Estonia, where the company has one of its four development centers. Smartmatic participates together with its partner Cybernetica in the constant updating of the system used in Estonia.

Estonia is a world reference in online voting. It has offered all its voters the ability to vote online in 11 national elections since 2005. This technology has brought multiple benefits:

  • Lower per-voter cost: 47% less than the traditional vote
  • Increased participation: 5% in national elections and 1.5% in local elections
  • Speed: 16 times faster than voting on paper
  • Convenience: 47% of eligible voters preferred to vote online in the most recent election

Smartmatic's online voting solution has also been deployed in Norway, the United States and Chile.

“No voter should have to decide between participating in elections and their health. That is why we make available to the electoral authorities in the region the most advanced and longest-running online voting tool in the world,” said Rombolá.