More than 86,000 registered citizens in 26 countries will be able to choose the new members of the Participation Council through the Internet, on their mobile phones or computers.
The experience of the 2021 elections set the tone so that, in 2023, more Ecuadorians abroad can vote electronically . The National Electoral Council (CNE) established that Ecuadorians registered in 26 countries may register to use this voting option.
In the 2023 elections, Ecuadorians abroad will only be able to vote to choose the seven members of the Citizen Participation Council .
The decision to allow telematic voting was made after evaluating the pilot plan carried out in 2021, in which there were three modalities: telematic, electronic and postal voting . The one that worked best was the telematic one, applied in Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States, said the CNE.
409,250 Ecuadorians are registered abroad for the 2023 elections. Of these, some 86,000 will be able to vote electronically: those who are registered in various cities in 26 countries in Europe, Asia and America.
How telematic voting works
Telematic voting allows citizens to vote through any mobile device or computer connected to the Internet . For this, the CNE will enable a system that will guarantee the authentication of the voter, the secrecy of the vote during its emission, the security of its transmission, and the storage and computation of results.
For this, the CNE approved a regulation that establishes the steps for its application.
The first thing will be for the CNE to enable a platform for the registration of citizens who wish to use telematic voting. This option will be available only for those who are registered in the countries and cities determined for this type of vote.
On election day, February 5, 2023, each registered citizen must enter the link available on the CNE website to vote . You can do it from your cell phone, tablet or computer.
There you must identify yourself with a username and password. Next, you must vote on the three ballots for the Participation Council: men, women, and peoples and nationalities .
Once the voting process is finished, the system will generate the digital certificate . It will not be possible to change the vote or vote again.
The telematic system will close automatically at 19:00 of the corresponding country.
According to the electoral register approved by the CNE for the 2023 elections, 409,250 Ecuadorians are registered abroad and qualified to vote. Most of them are in the constituency of Europe, Asia and Oceania.
Citizens registered to vote outside of Ecuador are spread over 40 countries , in which there are a total of 65 consular offices.
But the electoral participation of Ecuadorians abroad is quite low. In 2021, absenteeism in the three constituencies was 70% on average , since voting is not mandatory for those outside the country.
The electronic vote, discarded
The CNE also analyzed the possibility of applying electronic voting within Ecuador . This supposed that the citizens could approach to vote in precincts that, instead of ballots, have computers.
This option was already applied in the 2014 sectional elections in two provinces: Azuay and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas.
For this reason, the CNE evaluated the possibility of applying it in the provinces of Cañar and Azuay, and the Samborondón canton in Guayas , in 2023 . The planned budget was USD 6.6 million.
However, the CNE decided that this option is not feasible due to “current operational and time constraints.”