Romania is not ready yet for online and postal voting

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Online and postal voting systems are two methods that could become an alternative to the classical voting system, as it would be easier that way for the diaspora to cast its votes too, shows a work the Soros Foundation launched on Thursday, which also explained in order for such alternative systems to be implemented there would be need the bureaucratic apparatus and the state institutions to be reformed, and there would also be need of investments in infrastructure.

The work comprises three studies about the Romanians abroad and about the new voting alternatives, titled: ‘Implementation of alternative voting systems in Romania – between necessity, utility and feasibility,’ ‘Diaspora’s vote – a rejected vote,’ ‘Political representation and votes of Romanians abroad.’

The studies says alternative methods of voting are not so easy to implement, due to several administrative and security problems existing other countries’ experience revealed, as well as because of the implementation costs. Implementing a system like that too early might result in the public opinion losing its trust and, once lost, this trust would not be so easy to regain, say the authors of the studies at a debate.

Despite all these problems, it is absolutely necessary at least one alternative method to exist, say researchers, proposing electronic and postal voting systems as methods that could be implemented in a more reasonable interval.

‘The Ministry of Administration and Interior together with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology need to assume as soon as possible two projects to design and implement communication platforms, via the postal service and Internet, for the two voting methods, with the deadline to be no later than in 2010, so that the new systems to be used in the general elections in 2012,’ Florin Fesnic, one of the authors of the study on alternative voting systems said.

Implementation of alternative voting procedures would facilitate the access to voting of the diaspora and would contribute to the increase in the participation rate, shows the study.

Moreover, the implementation of alternative methods (postal voting, delegated voting, online or fax voting) would represent an attempt to cut such costs some of the Romanian electors would have pay, time or money, to cast their vote.

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