FNP calls for canceling automated vote contract

Leaders of the National Progressive Force (FNP) filed an appeal on Thursday, 26 December 2019, requesting that the Central Electoral Board (JCE) revoke the hiring of the Spanish company Alhambra Eidos to perform the forensic audit of the automated voting system equipment used in the 6 October 6 primaries.

Vinicio and Juarez Castillo Seman of the FNP stated that the JCE has violated procurement and contracting regulations that call for transparency and consensus.

The FNP said that the president of the JCE, Julio César Castaños Guzmán, surprised the country and the parties over the holidays with the announcement it had contracted the company without a prior bidding process.

The JCE contracted Alhambra Eidos for US$566,037.73. The company’s profile online on Bloomberg does not include auditing electoral systems in its listed services.

The FNP spokesmen suspect that the JCE seeks to remove the responsibilities for the auditing that would be carried out by the company contracted with the collaboration of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

Parallel to the announcement of this audit, the JCE had mentioned talks were advanced for the certification of the automated system to be used during the municipal election on 16 February 2020 would be carried out by the US company Pro V&V based in Alabama. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) had recommended this company for the auditing of the automated voting system. This procedure depends on the JCE obtaining funding from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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El Caribe

30 December 2019