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Argentinean Senate Blocks E-Voting Bill

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Nov 25, 2016, 2:39 pm
The Secretary for Political Affairs, Adrian Perez, insisted that the government will keep working to "end the theft of ballots, the poor counting, delay in results and collection lists". (Alertaonline)
The Secretary for Political Affairs, Adrian Perez, insisted that the government will keep working to “end ballot theft,” among other issues caused by paper voting. (Alertaonline)

EspañolArgentina’s senate voted down an electoral reform proposal that included the implementation of single electronic ballots.

Many are calling the decision a political defeat for Mauricio Macri, who backed the reform, and which was heavily opposed by the Kirchner bloc, known as the Front for Victory.

Thursday, November 26, the political party made its majority status in the Senate known by holding off the initiative, based on the testimony of computer experts and their explanations regarding “the high vulnerability of some of the proposed methods” involved in the electronic voting ballots.

The Peronists reportedly  guaranteed their support for the reform, but decided yesterday to boycott it.

Experts only seemed to be on board with an effort to “continue analyzing tools that will improve the electoral system.”

The ruling party strategy will reportedly involve “exposing” all those who prefer to continue using paper ballots questioned during the 2015 elections.

The Secretary of Political Affairs Adrián Pérez was the first to take initiative against those who rejected electoral reform, telling La Nación that the senators and governors of the Justicialista Party “gave a clear signal that they prefer to maintain their feudal power in many provinces rather than meet the citizen’s demand for clean, equitable and transparent elections.”

President Macri told both Perez and Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio that they must go ahead with steps to approve the reform.

“We will be able to approve it in the long run,” he said, “even if there is resistance. It is a citizen’s demand and they have no alternative.”

“We will continue to work to end ballot theft, bad vote counts and delays of results,”  Pérez said.

Among the governors who went back on their support include the provinces of San Juan (Sergio Uñac), Santiago del Estero (Claudia Ledesma), La Rioja (Sergio Casas) and La Pampa (Carlos Verna).

This Friday, Governor of Entre Ríos Gustavo Bordet (FPV-PJ) distanced himself from his Peronist colleagues, saying that “denying technology is backward.”

“The current system is cumbersome and ends up delegitimizing candidacies,” he reportedly said. “I understand that sooner or later this debate will have to be given up so as to improve the quality of democracy and institutions.”

“As in all orders of life we need technology and to deny technology is to go backward,” he said on Radio Rivadavia.

The bill had obtained a half-sanction in the Chamber of Deputies, but was rejected by the above-mentioned senators, with a majority in the upper house.  It will be frozen for this year in Congress, unable to be addressed in extraordinary sessions convened in December.

Source: La Nación, Clarín.

Raquel García Raquel García

Raquel García is a Venezuelan journalist with over 16 years of experience in digital outlets and radios. She currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Follow her @venturaG79.