The reasons to deploy electronic voting systems vary substantially from country to country. Low public trust in elections and electoral authorities in most Latin American countries is another of the reasons mentioned for the growing adoption of election technology.
“In Latin America, where turnout levels are reasonably high—lower than in Western Europe but markedly higher than in Asia and Africa—, one of the main motivations for the introduction of e-voting is its potential for boosting confidence in the election process, mitigate electoral fraud and increase public trust in the transparency of elections,” assured Alvarez, Katz and Pomares (in their paper The Impact of New Technologies on Voter Confidence in Latin America, 2011).
According to Latinobarometro 2015, low levels of trust in the electoral management body continues being a challenge in the region.
In a survey across Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, the total results of level of trust in the electoral management body were as follow: High 13.2%, Some 32.9%, Low 30.5% and None 23.3%. However, as undesirable as these results might seem, when respondents were asked if “the way how you vote could change things”, 60.6% answered positively. Then, the room for change is positive and enormous for policymakers and authorities, including adoption of election technology services.
Latin American governments face a huge challenge to reconnect with voters. Laurence Golborne, Chile’s former Minister of Mining, said in an interview that many Latin Americans were disenchanted with politicians. “There is a crisis with our democratic system. I believe what is happening in Latin America is happening all over the world. Our world is changing faster than ever and our politics and businesses are far behind. We need to increase participation using technology and give people the means to vote directly at home,” Golborne reflected.
From this point onwards, the decision to adopt election technology in Latin America will have to be an even more deliberated decision in a complex high-tech infatuated region.