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Bucharest
September 20, 2021
POLITICS

AEP unveils IT system that will monitor voter turnout and prevent vote fraud. Software used by voting centre tablets, connected to Police

Standing Electoral Authority (AEP) and Special Telecommunications Service (STS) representatives presented on Tuesday the IT system that will be used to monitor voter turnout and prevent vote fraud. The system will be connected to the Interior Ministry’s (MAI) IT system. Attempted vote fraud will be investigated by the police.

In practice, the voter’s Personal Number Code will be scanned and introduced in the system, which will notify voting centre members as well as police whether the voter has already cast a ballot.

“Based on a convention between AEP, STS and MAI, an extension of the system will be installed at the MAI command centre and all cases, all vote fraud attempts, or high voter turnout cases registered throughout the day can be promptly signalled to MAI, which will take the appropriate measures through the mobile teams it has deployed throughout the country. If a voter tries to vote twice, he will first run into local police officers who will investigate the case and if preliminary investigations show that he did not vote before – by contacting the voting centre which sent the message that he had voted there – the voter will be allowed to proceed. I don’t recommend anyone to resort to vote fraud,” AEP Spokesperson Marian Muhulet stated.

He added that there is no risk for the system to fail as a whole.

“The risk for the communications to fail at a school or in a locality may be there. Each tablet has a GSM card that is 3G capable, offered by mobile phone operators, and STS has installed them in relation to the power of the networks that these operators have in various regions. Most schools have wireless internet. STS has indexed all Wi-Fi internet networks in schools, routers have been installed where there was no Wi-Fi. Basically if 3G internet fails they will automatically switch to the Wi-Fi present at that location,” Muhulet explained.

The AEP Spokesperson pointed out that back-up tablets and operators exist at national level.

“Apart from the existing number of 18,616 [tablets], there is a backup of another 20 percent, which will be present at the headquarters of electoral offices in each locality in order to intervene in such cases or in cases of force majeure. In principle, there will be a single tablet within a voting centre. In case we notice that a high number of voters show up, we can send the second tablet at that voting centre. If they break, we have a backup of 20 percent of the total number of tablets, which can be used if needed,” Marian Muhulet pointed out.

He emphasised that tests have showed that the time required to vote has dropped by a third compared to previous elections, because once the Personal Number Code is scanned the software will indicate the voter’s exact position on the list of voters.

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