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Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO)

Address: Vas u. 6. 1/7/A, H-1088 Budapest, Hungary
Phone/Fax: 00 36 1 786 8298
E-mail: aceeeo@aceeeo.org
Website: www.aceeeo.org
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ACEEEO Newsletter - October 2016

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1. LATEST NEWS

25th Annual Conference and General Assembly Meeting of ACEEEO

21-23 September, Tirana, Albania

The 25th Annual Conference of the Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) was held on 21-23 September, in Tirana, Albania. The event was hosted by the Central Election Commission of Albania.

The Association was founded in Budapest, Hungary, with the collaboration of IFES in 1991. Seven former socialist countries were present on the first symposium where these countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia) decided to set up the ACEEEO. Almost 25 years have passed since then, and by 2016, the ACEEEO counts 25 institutional members from the European region.

The topic of this year conference was ‘Development of Electoral Systems and Processes in the last 25 years’. According to our tradition, in the prospect of our annual conference the possibilities were suggested for regional and cross-regional consultations, networking as well as for learning on recent developments in election technology.

150 electoral professionals from 40 countries attended the event. The audience consisted of the representatives of electoral management bodies, professionals of international organizations and academics. They acquainted with their experiences both from a theoretical and practical point of view. The resume, program and presentations of the conference are available here.

To the celebration of this significant anniversary, a book entitled ’Development of the Election Systems in Central and Eastern Europe since 1991’ was published by the ACEEEO. The anniversary gave an opportunity to have an overview about the changes of electoral systems and processes in the last 25 years, to present the main tendencies, best practices and problems and the way electoral management bodies dealt with them.

Besides the election officials and commissioners from the ACEEEO’s members, the international partner organizations, members of the Central Election Commission and experts from Albania contributed to the conference.

Special place at the Conference was dedicated to the exhibition and presentation of election equipment vendors.

We look forward to welcome you next year at our 26th Annual Conference!

 

Institutional matters

 

New institutional member of ACEEEO: Central Election Commission of Kosovo

The General Assembly on its meeting on 21 September 2016 accepted the application of the Central Election Commission of Kosovo for being an institutional member of ACEEEO. It means that by the 25th anniversary year the Association counts 25 institutional members.

 

New Executive Board of ACEEEO

The General Assembly on its meeting on 21 September 2016 elected the new members of the Executive Board. In the next 3 years the following persons will serve in the most important executive body of the Association: Lefterije Lleshi (Luzi), President of ACEEEO, Chairperson of the Central Election Commission of Albania; Ivilina Aleksieva-Robinson, Chairperson of the Central Electoral Commission of Bulgaria; Branko Hrvatin, Chairperson of the State Electoral Commission of the Republic of Croatia, Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia; Arnis Cimdars, Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Latvia; Zenonas Vaigauskas, Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Lithuania; Iurie Ciocan, Member of the Central Election Commission of Moldova, Beata Tokaj, Secretary of the National Electoral Commission of Poland.

 

New Honorary Member

The General Assembly supported the honorary membership of Stanislav Vavilov, former vice president of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation. He has been the member and vice president of the CEC for almost ten years and during this time he served continously in the ACEEEO Executive Board.

 

Honorary medals for the 25th anniversary of ACEEEO

The conference gave us an opportunity to look back to 1991, when the Association was founded in Budapest, Hungary, with the collaboration of IFES. Seven former socialist countries were present on the first symposium where these countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia) decided to set up the ACEEEO. At a celebration session, the Association expressed its gratitude by giving honorary medals to experts who have been working with it for 15, 20, or 25 years, namely to Richard Soudriette, Zoltán Tóth, Márta Dezső, Kazimierz W. Czaplicki, Zenonas Vaigauskas, Arnis Cimdars, Branko Hrvatin, Lídia Ermoshina, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, István Zsuffa, Manuel Carillo, Zoltán Kovács, Zsolt Szolnoki, Irena Hadziabdic, Paul DeGregorio, and Emilia Rytkó.

 

New volume of Elections in Europe

Connected to the Annual Conference, the 12th volume of ACEEEO’s annual journal has the topic ’Development of Electoral Systems and Processes in the last 25 years’. It deals also with the electoral issues of Albania as a focus country.

The online version is available on our webpage.

 

11th Implementation Meeting of the Declaration of Principles for International Elections Observation and EISA 20th Anniversary Symposium

18-21 October 2016, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) organized the 11th Implementation Meeting of the Declaration of Principles for International Elections Observation in Johannesburg, South Africa. The ACEEEO Secretariat was represented by Stepan Ahiy, program manager.

The 11th annual meeting’s priority thematic issues were: The growing trend of entrenched incumbency; Support to civil society groups working in closed societies; Conflict and electoral violence; Disability and other inclusivity issues; Money in politics and abuse of state resources.

The meeting was followed by the EISA 20th Anniversary Symposium on 20-21 October 2016 with the topic ‘Current Democratic Realities in Africa: Where are We Headed Beyond the Vote’.

 

2. UPCOMING EVENTS

2016 U.S. Election Program and Seventh Global Elections Organization (GEO-7) ConferenceO

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, voters in the United States will cast ballots in the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election.

For almost three decades, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has supported citizens’ rights to participate in free and fair elections around the globe. Since 1992, IFES has hosted a flagship event, the U.S. Election Program (USEP), which brings together election officials, parliamentarians and diplomats from around the world to observe and learn about the U.S. electoral system as well as discuss elections and voting from comparative international perspectives.

The 2016 U.S. Election Program this year will be immediately followed by the Seventh Global Elections Organization (GEO-7) Conference. The combined events are scheduled to take place Sunday, November 6, through Thursday, November 10, 2016.

This year’s USEP offers a range of plenary sessions, including discussions of:

  • New trends in voter registration;
  • Campaign finance and the role of super PACs; and
  • An evaluation of a decade of electoral reforms in the U.S.

On Election Day, IFES hosts a breakfast briefing featuring a prominent Republican and Democrat. Participants will also participate in an exclusive tour of polling sites throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and attend a reception honoring a fellow election practitioner with the 2016 Joe C. Baxter Award. The evening will conclude with an election watch party with live televised coverage of election results.

The GEO-7 Conference will foster technical discussions of interest to election administrators and focus on the use of data and technology to improve transparency and accountability. GEO partners include the ACEEEO, IFES, the International IDEA, the EISA, Mexico’s National Electoral Institute, the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division and the United Nations Development Programme.

For further details please visit: http://www.ifes.org/usep
 

3. OTHER NEWS

Elections Calendar for ACEEEO Members

Country

Type of election

Date

Bulgaria

Presidential election

November 6

Macedonia

Early Parliamentary

December 11

Romania

Parliamentary

December 11

 

The ACEEEO gratefully acknowledges the generous support of

The Dawn of the Digital Vote

It is true that people are losing trust in institutions and that customer expectations are rising faster that Governments can deliver. The digital economy is creating a consumer that is spoiled with convenience, choice and transparency at the tips of their fingers, here and now. The biggest challenge EMBs will be facing in future is to map these expectations with voters’ experience.

If one looks objectively at the rate of adoption of mobile technology, the disruption that mobile applications are causing in established sectors and the trust that consumers show in using their mobile devices for all digital services, one could safely assume that it is only a matter of time before voters will demand to exercise their votes in the comfort of their homes by using their mobile devices. There are also an increasing number of biometric modalities integrated into mobile devices, which will allow for the accurate verification of the voter’s identity.

This shift from traditional to digital is unavoidable and its impact is profound. Truly digital means no more voter cards, ballot papers, poling stations, ink, ballot boxes, courier services and manual counting. And lets be honest, these are the areas that are causing distrust amongst the voters. The digital vote would eliminate this. Election budgets would look totally different to what Governments are use to and election processes with its associated legislative framework would require radical rework. In fact, this shift to digital would enable the online democracy.

In this evolution it is however important to realise one cannot abandon those very things that have delivered the progress to date.

 

High efficiency at affordable costs

Ideco as an organisation specialises in accurately identifying persons whilst ensuring trust in every identity-based transaction. These are also the two fundamental responsibilities EMBs have towards their voter.

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  • A powerful Identity SwitchTM that seamlessly facilitate modern identity-based processes and integrate disparate legacy identity systems. Every transaction processed through the Identity SwitchTM is securely identifiable and uniquely auditable.
  • Mobile device based digital identities that empower the person to own his / her own identity. This app not only enables real time authentication of the identity but also delivers trusted engagement with digital economies.

 

Smart Identification for a Digital Future

When voters expect an inclusive, convenient, real-time and transparent election, the only way that EMB’s will be able to deliver on these expectations would be to go digital. This may be disruptive, but it is inevitable.

Governments should therefore consider the next generation voter more than protecting tradition. Fortunately most legislative framework do provide for special or postal votes.

Ideco has the knowledge, experience and the resources to help you enter the future. We offer solutions that will deliver results, not technology that will fret effort.

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