SUCCESS STORY: Election Board Uses Document Capture Technology to Count Votes in a Nationwide Elections and Reduces the Time to Count and Publish Results by 75%.

The client

The Corte Nacional Electoral (CNE), the equivalent of the U.S. Board of Elections, was responsible for conducting all elections in Bolivia, South America. The upcoming national elections would be overseen by 100 observers from the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission to ensure a fair process.

The challenge

Elections took place in polling places all over the country. Ballots were then transported to nine central locations, counted, and verified. In past elections, the counting and verification of voting took up to two weeks. CNE needed a solution that could speed up the tallying of votes without sacrificing accuracy, conform to government regulations, and appeal to the EU observers.

cti solution

High speed scanners were placed in each of the nine central voting locations. CTI redesigned the tabulation sheet and created nine specific forms that catered to each voting district’s local referendum. CTI utilized Barcode Recognition (BCR) to verify the authenticity of the document and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to read the type of voting sheet. Once type and authenticity were determined, Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) read the voter’s choices and Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) tallied the votes. The system also verified signatures of each election judge and compared that to an internal CNE database to verify an authorized person was signing off on each tabulation sheet. To ensure the process went smoothly, on the day of the elections, CTI employees were stationed in each of the nine central voting locations around the country to help elections workers use the system.

The results

The new system reduced the time it took to verify results by 80%. CNE was able to publish results by polling place in 72 hours, whereas before, the process took 12-15 days. EU election observers were satisfied that the system met all their requirements for a verifiable and proper process. CNE looks to use the system in future elections and is working with CTI to further enhance the system.