Antonio Mugica at eMerge Americas: “It is time to modernize election administration”
United States, Florida - April 25, 2018. – “Democracy is at a crossroad. In spite of the amazing progress made in terms of health, wealth, inequality and peace in the last hundred years, people are showing signs of discontent with how democracy works. Technology can be the catalyst for the transformation democracy needs. It is time to modernize election administration.”
With these words, Antonio Mugica, CEO for Smartmatic, summarized his presentation at eMerge Americas, an annual two-day tech conference in Miami Beach aimed at connecting technology enthusiasts, startups, global enterprises and government leaders from North America, Latin America and Europe.
During his intervention, Mugica emphasized the need to use technology not only to improve elections but also to foster a more fluid dialogue between governments and citizens. “Besides improving crucial processes such as registering voters and counting votes, we must transcend the traditional election cycle and use technology to fight disengagement and the lack of trust in democratic institutions. We must use the tools at our disposal to build a stronger and more meaningful dialogue between citizens and their representatives.”
Smartmatic, the company Mugica founded and has led since 2000, has counted over 3.7 billion votes in elections in five continents. According to Mugica, there is a growing appetite for election technology. “All across the globe, election commissions are increasingly relying on election technology to improve the transparency, efficiency, and legitimacy of their elections. In Latin America only, biometric technology will be used to authenticate some 100 million voters in 2018. And seven of the nine Latin American countries conducting elections this year will use technology to process results.”
In its fifth year, the technology conference invited hundreds of firms ranging in size from startups to the region's largest companies. Companies showed off their innovations to thousands of attendees on the expo floor at eMerge Americas from April 23-24.