Albania strengthens confidence in the election process through technology
United States - April 26, 2021 - Albania became a model for election modernization in Europe by implementing a nationwide voter authentication platform during its Parliamentary elections held on April 25. Authorities also conducted an electronic voting pilot in Tirana, Albania’s capital, as part of their efforts to increase the efficiency and transparency of its elections.
International observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe praised the implementation of technology. Reinhold Lopatka, Head of the OSCE delegation stated, “The introduction of e-voting technology represents an important and welcome improvement for Albania.”
The Central Electoral Commission of Albania deployed 5,538 Smartmatic voter verification devices (VIU-818) in 3,314 locations. The devices employ biometrics to positively validate the identity of voters prior to their casting a ballot.
“I was pleased to witness the large-scale effectiveness of the biometric identification system, which was used countrywide. This is an important step which can only strengthen confidence in the electoral process,” added Lopatka.
The preliminary report issued by the OSCE International Election Observation Mission reads: “The newly-introduced electronic voter identification system was established in all voting centres for election day. Most IEOM interlocutors lauded the new system and perceived it as a measure to mitigate the risk of double voting, family voting and voter impersonation.”
In its effort to increase the transparency and efficiency of its elections, the Central Electoral Commission of Albania also deployed 64 Smartmatic A4-517 voting machines in the capital city Tirana. Voters made their choices using advanced-technology touchscreen voting machines that are likely to become the future of voting in this nation.
Smartmatic also provided warehousing services, equipment configuration services, technical support on site, data center setup, field services and support, and provision of a National Support Center (Help Desk). It also recruited and trained the 460 Albanian field support technicians who provided support to poll workers, and 32 poll workers who operated the electronic voting machines for the pilot.
Commenting on the successful election, CEO of Smartmatic Antonio Mugica said, “Implementing a nationwide voter authentication system proved to be a remarkable improvement. Working alongside authorities, we ensured Albania had a secure system that made the overall voting process accessible and efficient.”