On September 8, 2019, participants of the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Digitalization of Electoral Processes. Humanitarian Dimension”, representing election authorities of foreign countries, visited the Information Center of the CEC of Russia and spoke about their impressions of the Conference and familiarization with the innovations in the electoral system, which are implemented by the Central Election Commission.
“The Conference was organized at a very high level. We received a lot of useful information and were convinced that Russia occupies a leading position in the application of information technologies in electoral processes,” stated Mirza-Ulugbek Elchievich Abdusalomov, Chairman of the CEC of the Republic of Uzbekistan. “The use of these technologies will inevitably lead to increased voter confidence in the election”.
Chairman of the CEC of the Republic of Moldova Dorin Cimil noted that the topic of digitalization of elections is also relevant for the Republic of Moldova. “In our country, we are actively engaged in these processes, especially the legal regulation of electoral practices, and in the local elections in the Republic on 20 October 2019 we will be happy to use the experience of the Russian Federation,” he said.
Chairman of the Supreme Independent Election Commission of the Republic of Iraq, Maan Abed Hantush, thanked the CEC of Russia for the invitation to the Conference and emphasized that the election process is very well organized in Russia. “Last year I was an observer and noticed that the level of preparation for the elections in Russia since last year has moved far ahead. We will strive for the same level in our country”, he said.
Arief Budiman, Chairman of the General Election Commission of the Republic of Indonesia, shared his opinion: “For us, the experience of Moscow is very important in order to understand where digitalization is going and how digital technologies can be used in election processes. We hope that using these technologies will make elections more credible.”
The Chairman of the Republican Election Commission of the Republic of Serbia, Vladimir Dmitrievich, thanked for the invitation to the Conference and expressed the hope that its results will move forward on the path to digitalization of the electoral process. “I hope the cooperation will develop successfully. I wish the CEC of Russia success in the conduct of the elections.”
“In a short time, we were able to get acquainted with the real application of digital technologies”, said Glen Mashinini, Chairman of the Election Commission of the Republic of South Africa. - We believe that they will be widely used in the future. It is necessary to exchange experience in order to understand how these technologies can be used in our countries.”
“Today we managed to get acquainted with innovations in Russia, including electronic voting,” said Khalid Alkalaldeh, Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. - When I saw this technology at the polling station, it became obvious that big changes were waiting for us in the election process. Russia has a lot to learn from. I am convinced that Muscovites are striving for fair and transparent elections.”
Estella Acero, a member of the National Electoral Council of the Republic of Ecuador, noted that during the Conference the participants managed to exchange experiences and learn a lot. “We visited several polling stations and witnessed the transparency of the elections, as well as the calm atmosphere that characterized these elections,” she said. “We can only wish good luck to the CEC of Russia and wait for the election results.”
“We are impressed with what we saw, and we will be glad if we can use the experience of Russia,” said the Chairman of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Bulgaria Stefka Stoeva. “We also have to use remote electronic voting, and the experience of Russia will be very important for us.”
Sadi Guven, Chairman of the Supreme Election Council of the Republic of Turkey, said that the Conference provided an opportunity to share the experience gained and was very fruitful. “In Turkey, technologies related to the election process also do not stand still, but at the same time we see a very high level of development of this area in Russia,” he said. “Today I managed to see how public monitoring is carried out in Russia, and I would like to wish the CEC of Russia that this work progresses without a hitch.”
Conference participants were able to familiarize themselves with the Russian electoral innovations, including remote electronic voting. General opinion was expressed about the high level of development of technological equipment of the Russian electoral system, and the great experience of the CEC of Russia accumulated in this area was noted.
“The most important purpose of our Conference was to give guests a reason for discussion and information for reflection,” said the Chairman of the CEC of Russia Ella Pamfilova. - We are constantly looking for new solutions, and we invited foreign colleagues to participate in this process. Now our joint thoughts and search for the development of new technologies are fully engaged.”
The Chairman of the CEC of Russia thanked the foreign colleagues for participating in the Conference and expressed hope for further cooperation.
Summing up the Conference, Member of the CEC of Russia Nikolay Levichev emphasized that common understanding by all Conference participants was the recognition that digitalization is a global process: «Decision-making processes based on the creation of new information platforms and increased civic engagement are parallel, and, ultimately, a new electoral model will be elaborated which already now could be described by the term “competent democracy”».