240 scanners will be used at the 2020 presidential elections on 1 November 2020, to facilitate the procedure for registering voters in the State Automated Information System "Elections".
The equipment was donated to the Central Electoral Commission by the United Nations Development Programme in Moldova and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the framework of the project "Enhancing democracy in Moldova through inclusive and transparent elections".
The scanners were purchased in 2020, reflecting the success of a pilot exercise supported by the UNDP project in October 2019 at the local general elections. The Central Electoral Commission used back then 80 scanners in 70 polling stations in Chisinau to identify voters based on the scanned ID card. These were procured in the first phase of the UNDP project, funded by USAID, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Compared to manual data entry, the scanning process demonstrated the exclusion of human errors while reducing the time and queues of voters by 72%.
Based on the results from 2019, another 240 scanners were purchased and will be used as follows:
- 120 scanners, donated by UNDP Moldova for polling stations abroad, adapted to the model of the passport and ID card, thus contributing to the faster streamlining of voters to avoid congestion and queues;
- 120 scanners, purchased with the generous support of USAID Moldova, for the use on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, in the most crowded polling stations. For the elections of 1 November 2020, the tools will be used in the polling stations in Chisinau, namely, the suburbs of the municipality.
The other 80 scanners, purchased in 2019, will be used in polling stations opened for voters living on the left bank of the Nistru river and who will vote based on the ID card.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of scanners will also reduce the risks of spread of the virus among electoral officials, considering the voter will scan the identity card himself/herself and the information will be transferred to the computer.
Dr. Dorin Cimil, the chairperson of the CEC stated that “the new technology comes exactly at a time when, for the first time in the history of elections conducted in the Republic of Moldova, we are obliged to organize elections during pandemic and find solutions to protect as much as possible the electoral officials, exposed in the frontline on elections day. Thus, the scanners will help us with that, but, first of all, they represent a new tool that complements the modern technological endowment of the institution in order to organize fair and transparent elections."
Eva Bounegru, project manager at UNDP Moldova, mentioned that “since 2014, the innovation and modernization of the State Automated Information System "Elections" is one of the main objectives of UNDP Moldova. The scanners’ donation is yet another activity that will have a positive impact not only for the 2020 elections, but also for the next elections. Eliminating human error and facilitating voting procedures contributes to strengthening democracy in Moldova through inclusive and transparent elections."
UNDP Moldova and its partners have been supporting the enhancing of electoral processes in Moldova for more than 10 years. More information about the project activities can be found on undp.md/electoral-support.