The beginning of the EU test project for the introduction of new technologies in the electoral process in BiH was officially launched today at the Central Election Commission of BiH.
On that occasion, the President of the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina Suad Arnautović and the EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina Johann Sattler emphasized that the project includes an electronic system for voter identification and faster transmission of election results from the polling station to municipal and city election commissions and the Central Election Commission.
“The project will be implemented at 165 polling stations in 10 municipalities/cities that have been selected for testing the electronic voter identification system and the system for online entry and quick transfer of election results from the polling station to the CEC. This is the first time that digital technologies are being tested at the polling station,” said Arnautović.
He emphasizes that this test project represents a significant novelty in the electoral process, because since 2009, BiH citizens have had biometric documents, which means that the databases maintained by the Agency for Identification Documents, Records and Data Exchange (IDDEEA) can be used to identify voters at the polling station before the voting process, which would prevent misuse of voter’s identity and voting in the name of other persons.
“On the day of the trial elections, through the electronic voter identification system, a quick and efficient search of fingerprint records, i.e. biometric templates created from the obtained fingerprints, will be carried out, which makes it impossible for one voter to vote twice or to vote instead of another voter,” he said.
As another novelty in the election process that will be tested in the trial elections, he mentioned the online entry and quick transfer of election results from the polling station to the CEC of BiH.
“Direct (on-line) entry of results from polling stations via online web applications would be a significant new step in the use of digital technologies in the work of the CEC. This approach would speed up the way in which the MEC/GIK collects results and submits them to the Central Election Commission, which will accelerate the publication of the first unofficial data on election results from polling stations that are online connected to the main counting center of the Central Election Commission of BiH in Sarajevo. This would allow the CEC to publish the results in the shortest possible time, and at the same time, the number of errors during the validation of entered data will be reduced,” explained Arnautović.
He expressed his gratitude to the EU for supporting activities to introduce new technologies into the BiH election process since, as he says, concrete steps by the authorities in BiH were missing. institutions, which should ensure the legislative and financial prerequisites for the digitization of the electoral process.
The EU’s special representative in BiH, Johann Sattler, said that the aforementioned project will give an opportunity to test new technologies for the first time in terms of voter identification and vote counting.
“Its primary purpose is to test voter identification tools and secure communication of counted votes directly from the polling stations to the Central Election Commission, and for this purpose we provide equipment to the Central Election Commission, consulting services for the development of adequate solutions. The total value of this support is almost 700,000 euros,” added Sattler.
In addition, the director of the Agency for Identification Documents, Records and Data Exchange (IDDEEA) Arif Nanić expressed his gratitude to the EU today, stating that he is proud that IDDEEA is part of the test project and, as he says, its role is certainly significant.
“IDDEEA will provide all the infrastructure for the implementation of this project. The efforts of competent institutions to introduce new technologies into the electoral process are certainly innovative. I hope that this project will yield results that will serve to improve the electoral process,” said Nanić, Fena reports.