Curaçao: Technology and services improve island nation’s elections

Electoral Council of Curaçao successfully held Parliamentary Elections using voting automation


On 22 January, 2010, the Electoral Council of Curaçao held Parliamentary Elections. This was the third time we’ve worked in this country, the largest island of the Dutch Antilles.

The first was in 2007, when this part of the Netherlands used our solution for its Insular Council Elections. Then in 2008, we helped again, this time with a referendum on autonomy.


  • We provided maintenance for the Smartmatic voting machines that the Electoral Council already owned from the previous elections we’d work on together.
  • We were also responsible for deploying the 152 voting machine-system throughout the island –and for training operators and technical analysts.
  • Each machine featured two electronic ballots, to enable people to choose from a wide variety of options – and to cast their votes easily.
  • On this occasion the voter turnout was 65.81%.


Our whole approach to elections is based around the idea that all political parties must be able to audit the process at every stage.

This way, everyone is able to accept the results as accurate.

A key feature of our technology – and one that has become the de facto standard around the world – is that the voting machines produce a paper receipt that enables every voter to check their own choice has been made correctly.

This has become known as the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT). It also means that electoral commissions can check paper counts against electronic counts to check there are no discrepancies.

In the 2.3 billion votes Smartmatic technology has processed since 2004, we’ve never discovered a single discrepancy. We believe this is evidence that votes are completely safe in our machines. This is thanks to our encryption, the system’s redundancy and accuracy.

We also took several other steps to ensure everyone knew the system was functioning properly.

For these elections, we implemented a quality control test on a sample number of voting machines.

We also ran a simulation to test the entire technology platform and identify any faults.

We even simulated certain extreme conditions, to see how the system would respond.

How to vote

Voting with Smartmatic technology couldn’t be simpler, as these four easy steps demonstrate:

  1. Read the questions on screen
  2. Touch the buttons that match your choice
  3. Confirm your selection by pressing ‘vote’
  4. Pick up the printed paper voting receipt printed by the voting machine, check it matches your selection – and place it in the ballot box