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Press Release


  April 23, 2003

A Technical Monitoring Mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) began operations in Asunción this week, ahead of Sunday’s presidential elections in Paraguay.

OAS Assistant Secretary General Luigi R. Einaudi will arrive in the Paraguayan capital on Saturday to head the Mission and observe the election.

The purpose of the Technical Monitoring Mission is to examine how electronic voting is being implemented in Paraguay, and review and familiarize itself with the electoral process and the specially-designed voting technology.

Organized by Santiago Murray, Coordinator of the Strengthening of Electoral Processes and Systems program area of the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy, the Technical Team comprises OAS computer and election technology experts as well as managers of computer systems for elections agencies in Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru.

According to the OAS Mission, the initiative that involves the sharing of electronic voting technology between Brazil’s Superior Electoral Tribunal and Paraguay’s Superior Tribunal of Electoral Justice began in 2001, after a pilot project with 172 voting machines that covered 1.5% of voters. The plan is now to implement a second phase, using 6,000 electronic voting machines.

This initiative also marks the launch of an inter-American network of officials and/or technology and information managers at elections agencies, established by the Inter-American Meeting of Election Officials, held in Panama City last month. The objective is to devise a mechanism to conduct analysis and technical monitoring of the exchange of election best practices.

Reference: E-090/03