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May 17, 2021

Electoral tourism to go extinct : STS organizes system to prevent vote fraud

Over 20,000 tablets will be installed at voting stations starting next year, to prevent multiple voting. Therefore, the Service of Special Telecommunications (STS) will provide an entire IT system to monitor attendance to the ballot and prevent illegal voting, digi24.ro reports.

The entirely new IT system will cost the state RON 48.5 million and the 23,000 tables equipped with all required technical support cost RON 24 million. STS has already initiated, to a great extent, all purchase procedures for necessary goods and equipment.

In order to be able to project the system, STS has already sent the Parliament a request for an increase in the budget established for the year to come. The request was sent to Commissions, for the moment the project of the state budget would be discussed.

The Service of Special Telecommunications would equip each voting station with one tablet. An operator working on that tablet will scan, with the help of a photo camera and of a special application, the ID card of each voter stepping inside the station. Thus, it will be checked in real time whether the voter is adult, whether he has the right to vote, whether he had been at the station his residence belonged to and whether he had voted anywhere else on the same day.

Besides eliminating multiple voting, the informatic system will provide information on voters’ attendance at the ballot boxed and will simultaneously prevent introduction, checking and electronic transmission of protocols regarding the results of the ballots.

According to digi24.ro, the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) will train 30,000 technicians to work for this project.
“We will upload the list of voters afferent to the respective voting station, connected to a central database. Concretely, each of us, at the time we go to vote, will first meet a computer operator at the voting station, who will register the data on our ID card”, Marian Muhulet, AEP manager explained.

UNPR Deputy Murgu Neagu criticises the system: “I do not see the necessity and I think it is a massive investment. I think that, first of all, it is illegal, as nobody has the right to retain any photograph of any personal data. Why would STS staff be entitled to do this? Which is the role played by STS in this voting procedure?”

Liberal Daniel Iane, on the other hand, thinks that the system might be efficient. “There will not be lists of people who have voted, but who actually failed to show up and vote, or lists of deceased casting their votes. The mere presence of the person carrying his ID card is actually proof to the fact that, by the end of the day, it is precisely the number of voters that would be revealed.”
Besides eliminating multiple voting, the IT system will provide information concerning voters’ attendance to the elections and will also allow the introduction, checking and electronic transmission of protocols establishing the results of the respective station.

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