Electronic voting plays crucial role in Venezuelan elections

Smartmatic technology facilitates accurate, transparent results for the South American nation’s legislative elections

Venezuela, Caracas December 7, 2015 – Following Venezuela’s recent elections, Smartmatic announced today that its secure automated voting platform guaranteed the flawless results of the nation’s Parliamentary vote. The London-based voting technology provider has serviced Venezuela’s last 14 national elections.

“For more than a decade, Smartmatic has proudly serviced the national elections for the people of Venezuela, demonstrating our commitment to transparency, efficiency and accountability,” said Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica. “And this year was no different proving once again that all sides of the political spectrum can be both winners and losers”.

“Amid a polarized political landscape, our technology was able to help deliver results accepted by all parties. The winner is and has always been the will of the people,” he added.

Smartmatic provided an end-to-end voting platform during the Dec. 6 vote including its voter biometric authentication, voting, results transmission, tallying and results broadcasting.

A total of thirteen technical audits were performed before, during and after the election to ensure the integrity of the Smartmatic technology, including source code review, machine assembly, biometric authentication system operation and maintenance of all software elements. Technicians representing each party contesting the elections participated in every audit and confirmed the proper operation of the system.

In addition, voters themselves were able to verify their candidate selections using the physical copy of each vote printed by Smartmatic machines. Once the polls closed, there were citizen audits, and as in all Smartmatic elections, no discrepancies were found.

“Through partnerships with voters, universities, NGOs, political parties and authorities from around the globe, we’ve built the only fully verifiable, end-to-end electronic voting system in the world,” Mugica explained. “Each phase of the election is automated, making the overall process that much more transparent and efficient.”  

According to recent data from polling group Datanálisis, more than 93.5 percent of participants who used Smartmatic voting machines considered them to be “very easy” or “easy” to operate. The improved user experience which results from more manageable technologies contributed to a boost in Venezuela’s voter turnout by 74%.  

“We at Smartmatic are excited to be able to deliver for our clients time and time again, and congratulate the Venezuelan people on the success of their elections,” said Mugica.
Key facts from the December 6 Venezuelan Parliamentary election:
–    40,601 voting machines were distributed across 14,515 polling centres.
–    A total of 121,803 pieces of electronic voting technology were configured and deployed for the election.
–    Every single voter was authenticated biometrically before voting electronically.
–    Turnout reached 74.25 percent.
–    Smartmatic coordinated logistics for 94,792 system operators across the entire country.
–    167 deputies were elected from 1,799 candidates.

Third Party Quotes:
“Venezuela has the most transparent and advanced election system in the world. It guarantees the sovereign suffrage of all Venezuelans” | Nicolas Maduro, President for Venezuela.

“The Venezuelan voting system is solid and secure” | Leonel Fernandez, leader of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) observation mission.

“The Mission considers that the strength of the Venezuelan voting process resides in the voting and tallying processes…” | Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance report.

“We are not only satisfied, but we believe this [automated] system should be exported to my country” | Javier Couso, an international election observer from the European Union.

“Machines work flawlessly from the technical point of view. They do not alter the vote” | Vicente Diaz, former member of Venezuela’s National Elections Council and part of the Democratic Unity Roundtable.

“Venezuela’s voting system is one of the most secure and transparent due to its high level of automation and the number of audits performed at all the stages of the election | Luis Emilio Rondón, Commissioner for Venezuela’s National Elections Council.

“The Venezuelan voting system is completely automated and can be audited in all its phases. In 2004, Venezuela became one of the first countries in the world to carry out a national election with machines that printed voting vouchers, and in 2012 they introduced the biometric authentication of voters as a requisite for activating the machines” | Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance report.

“We have audited the voting machines, as well as the configuration of the voting machines (…). We analyzed the software that guarantees that the vote is secret. So far, all the audits have been completed satisfactorily, and there is nothing to highlight” | Vicente Bello, a member of the Democratic Unity Roundtable.

“The Venezuelan System, in terms of the technology, is absolutely trustworthy. The Venezuelan Election Observatory has assisted to approximately 20 audits, attested technical debate among participants from all parties, and has seen how all the doubts are discussed and resolved openly” | Ignacio Avalos, Coordinator for the Venezuelan Election Observatory.

“Venezuela’s election system is the most efficient and modern in the world” | Jorge Rodriguez, head of the Comando de Campaña Bolivar-Chavez.