Smartmatic was present at the 4th Annual Meeting of Election Management Bodies held on February 24-26th in Tbilisi.
March 24, 2014
By Matthijs Schippers
Last month, I had the privilege to represent our company during the 4th Annual Meeting of Election Management Bodies held from on February 24-26th in Tbilisi.
The event was hosted by the Central Election Commission of Georgia and had as main theme "Stakeholders Engagement and Effective Communication".
It is always a great experience to meet and discuss with election authorities from Europe, Asia and Africa, along with several international election-related organizations: IFES, UNDP, NDI (Central American Program), ACEEEO, IFE Mexico, OSCE and the International Centre for Electoral Psychology.
Our team not only had the pleasure to learn and listen to various interesting stories about their initiatives and remaining challenges to improve their electoral processes, but also took the opportunity to address the audience and share some experiences and observations from the perspective of a leading provider of electoral solutions and services.
As VP of Sales for Western and Northern Europe, I presented “A Bird’s Eye View on E-voting in Europe”, a comprehensive explanation of where Europe is today in terms of e-voting adoption and where it is heading. In doing so, the talk inevitably also touched upon developments in the past that led to today’s situation.
The response in the audience showed a genuine interest to learn from some of the mistakes in stakeholder engagement and effective communication as made by most European countries, when they embarked on e-voting programs in the past.
In another talk titled “Enhancing Transparency and Equality of the Electoral Process”, Edgar Fino, Worldwide Business Support Manager, presented success stories Smartmatic has had in Bolivia, Zambia, and Venezuela helping run more transparent and efficient elections by adopting biometric technology.
The experiences and lessons learned from Smartmatic’s recent voter identification projects triggered a tremendous appreciation for the magnitude and diversity of the challenges these projects imply. The audience understood how the combination of the right technology, project management capabilities linked with proper stakeholder engagement and clear public communication campaign are all key ingredients to a successful deployment.
Two other Smartmatic colleagues, Alexander Rakov (VP Sales for Eastern Europe) and Juan Campodonico (Sales Support Manager EMEA), provided one-on-one demonstrations of the voting technology and services that have granted our company world-wide recognition as the election industry leader.
By sharing our experience and know-how, Smartmatic demonstrated that our commitment to serve electoral management bodies goes beyond the best of breed systems and services listed on our portfolio.