Provisions for remote Internet voting will make the 2018 parliamentary elections more inclusive
28 June 2016
- Elections will become more inclusive in the Republic of Moldova starting with 2018, when remote Internet voting is planned to be piloted. On 28 June 2016 the results of the feasibility study “Introduction of Internet Voting in the Republic of Moldova” was presented by the Central Electoral Commission. The research was conducted with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), within the project “Improving the quality of democracy in Moldova through parliamentary and electoral support”, financed by the Governments of Sweden and Norway.
Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Liliana Palihovici mentioned that "The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova has had several attempts to amend the legislation for the purpose of introduction of internet voting. At that time, however, we did not have the relevant information which this study provided to us. For the moment it is important that the experts advertise the new voting option from the perspective of secrecy of voting. Also, we have to guarantee that the voting cannot be influenced. I would like to be equally optimistic about the implementation of the project in 2018, however, till then we will have to revise the legislation, including by introducing a new chapter regarding the new voting option and to obtain the expertise of the Venice Commission. We could test the system without numbering votes. One important argument in favor of internet voting is that it grants full voting rights to all citizens who reside outside the country”, said Liliana Palihovici.
The procedure of internet voting will enhance the access to electoral process for all eligible voters in and outside of the Republic of Moldova. According to the feasibility study, Republic of Moldova has a high penetration of internet, a very good mobile coverage and meets all fundamental preconditions for the implementation of Internet voting system in near future.
Iurie Ciocan, CEC Member and former CEC Chair, mentioned "We will collaborate with other institutions of the state, because we will not succeed in the implementation of the project without their support”.
Hence, electoral authorities intend to adjust the legal and regulatory framework to allow the implementation of the Internet voting system as an auxiliary voting channel to the traditional voting system in the Republic of Moldova for the ordinary 2018 Parliamentary Elections. Then the first pilot will be conducted on a pre-selected group of voters within the country and from the diaspora.
The authors of the study propose a Roadmap for the gradual implementation of Internet voting.
“UNDP will remain committed to support future efforts of the CEC to further improve the transparency and inclusiveness of the electoral process, also engaging other stakeholders important to the electoral process”, said Tanja Hollstein, Electoral Specialist at UNDP Moldova.
The internet voting will increase the accessibility of the electoral process, will reduce costs for the organization of elections overseas and will ease the participation of Moldovan citizens living abroad, of youth, as well as of persons with disabilities.