Best international practices concerning alternative voting mechanisms were presented by the Council of Europe (CoE) experts to representatives of the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Moldova (CEC), the Centre for Continuous Electoral Training, the Public Service Agency and other interested stakeholders during a webinar held on 03 February 2021.
Two main internationally recongnised alternative voting modalities, namely Internet-voting and postal voting, including yearly voting procedures were discussed. CoE experts presented advantages, disadvantages, tendences and indicated specific countries using or having used one or another system, such for instance the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Estonia, Germany, Romania, France and the USA.
Beneficiary institutions mentioned that although these alternative modalities are complementary to the classic vote at polling stations, their use would be very welcome in the Republic of Moldova, especially for its citizens with right to vote, residing abroad. These modalities mean that the voters could vote online wherever they are, that they do not necessarily need to go to a polling station anymore, that they could cast their votes well in advance, monitor online the voting process, etc. However, the CoE experts pointed out that these alternative voting methods are associated with certain costs such as for the electronic signature and identification, online security, legislative modifications, trustworthy postal service and public trust into the voting modalities. Public trust, they underlined, is an essential prerequisite for the implementation of each modality.
Following suggestion made by Mr. Cimil, head of the CEC, the alternative voting aspect is to be widely discussed with the representatives of decision makers, civil society and other interested stakeholders at the next webinar on 10 February, as well as during the post-election conference on 18-19 February 2021.The activity is funded and implemented by the Council of Europe within the on-going project “Improving electoral practice in the Republic of Moldova”.