Today’s post was written by Onno van Dommelen and Leticia Barcia, VP Strategic Accounts and Alliances, and VP of Marketing, respectively, for Microsoft partner Scytl, the worldwide leader in secure electronic voting, election management and election modernization solutions.
Governments around the world are using technology to deliver enhanced services to citizens while reducing costs, and improving administrative efficiency and employee productivity. Scytl believes there is no better opportunity for governments to embrace digital transformation than in providing more efficient, participative, secure and transparent elections. Using innovative digital strategies that leverage online capabilities to substitute and/or complement paper-based electoral processes, governments can deliver greatly needed efficiencies, better citizen engagement, and improved accessibility and sustainability—all of which benefit voters, electoral organizations and political candidates. We’re honored to help governments in 47 countries make voting more accessible, efficient, transparent and secure through our portfolio of reliable, trusted, inclusive and scalable Microsoft-powered elections solutions.
Leading-edge elections solutions
Elections are large, sophisticated and complex processes; they’re also among the most high-profile and mission-critical functions of government. That’s why we rely on our experience and specific know-how as well as the comprehensive Azure cloud platform, intelligent Dynamics applications and other Microsoft technologies to modernize elections. From our founding in 2001, Scytl has built its reputation by developing secure election management and online voting solutions that are finely attuned to voter needs and the unique requirements of election bodies. Here’s an overview of some of our leading-edge election solutions:
- Election Training: The key to guaranteeing a smooth election is to make sure that staff are properly trained. Election Training, built on Azure, provides elections staff with a comprehensive and effective interactive training program that’s accessible on nearly any internet-connected device.
- Electronic PollBook is a ground-breaking solution that enables poll workers to look up and verify registered voters, eliminating the error-prone nature of a manual process. This Azure and Dynamics-based technology helps voters avoid long lines by expediting polling place check-in and verification; it also provides election officials with centralized management and real-time visibility into elections as they unfold.
- Online Voting: More and more countries are considering or moving to online voting to ensure that voters can securely and easily cast their vote from any location and from any internet-connected device. Our Online Voting solution helps increase voter participation for people with disabilities and remote or illiterate voters while ensuring voter privacy and election integrity.
- Results Consolidation: This Scytl solution allows election staff to update the results of all voting options—polling places, postal and online voting—in an independent and secure environment. Results Consolidation helps speed vote counting and tabulation, consolidating election results quickly and accurately.
- Election Night Reporting is a software solution that presents election results in an efficient, user-friendly and intuitive graphical dashboard, using maps and graphics to illustrate voter turnout, totals by vote type and results by polling place.
Worldwide election successes
We’re humbled to have the confidence of hundreds of customers around the world, including national, state/provincial and local governments. A few examples include:
- 2016 U.S. presidential elections: Scytl provided technology leveraged by 53 million voters in 28 states and nine jurisdictions, including Election Training, Electronic PollBook, eBallot Delivery and Election Night Reporting, built on Azure, Windows 10, Surface and Dynamics. Two Illinois counties used 500-plus Scytl Electronic PollBooks to expedite voter check-in and verification, and provide election officials with a comprehensive precinct management system.
- 2015 United Arab Emirates federal national council elections: Scytl was first selected to provide poll-site online voting in the 2011 elections and used again for the world’s first fully electronic national election in 2015, which produced a 119-percent increase in participation and results announced in just over 30 minutes.
- 2014 European parliamentary elections: In our largest election to date, Scytl technology consolidated and disseminated the real-time results of 154 million voters across all 28 European Union member states in 24 languages. To ensure the seamless and secure backup of the election results website across all 28 member states, Microsoft Azure provided the disaster recovery process. This represented the first time that cloud infrastructure was used in a pan-European election.
We join Microsoft in being committed to empowering people and organizations, especially when it comes to the sacred privilege of voting. We are committed to delivering leading-edge solutions for improved participatory democracy, citizen empowerment and public transparency via secure, scalable, accessible, efficient and auditable innovative technology.
In working to modernize and digitally transform the elections process, we’re always gratified to receive thank-you letters from voters, election officials and poll workers. This quote from a visually impaired voter in Australia provides a good summation of what we mean by our tagline, “Innovating Democracy.” “(Scytl-powered) iVote means I can vote anonymously like everybody else, it means independence, it means being sure that my voice has been heard and that my vote counted.”