On 27 of September at the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH, the Central Election Commission of BiH presented to Members of Parliament, representatives of civil society and international community its new publication “New technologies in the electoral process - challenges and possibilities of application in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. The publication was financially supported by the Council of Europe within its Electoral Assistance Programm to BiH and includes among others the results and recommendations of the Council of Europe expert support exploring ways to introduce new voting technologies in BiH.
The publication is divided into three parts: 1. Papers dealing with topics relevant to the use of modern information technologies in the electoral process, 2. Reports of working groups and expert assessments exploring ways to introduce new voting technologies in BiH and 3. International legal documents related to the use of new technologies in elections such as the “Recommendation CM/Rec (2017)5 on Standards for e-voting”.
The process of introducing IT solutions to the electoral process in BiH started in 2010 with the construction of the Integrated Election Information System (JIIS). In October of 2015, in cooperation with the Association of Election Officials in BiH, the BiH Central Election Commission prepared under the project “Evaluation of Possible Technical Improvements to Election Process in BiH” an analysis of possible improvements in the electoral process through the use of advanced technologies. The results of this analysis were presented in February 2016 in the BiH Parliamentary Assembly in Sarajevo with the participation of national authorities, international experts and representatives of voting technology companies.
On December 29, 2016 on the initiative of the BiH Central Election Commission, the Council of Ministers of BiH established an Inter-departmental working group on e-voting with the task to propose modalities for the introduction of new technologies into the electoral process in BiH and to prepare a document to be presented through an authorized proposer into the parliamentary procedure. The Council of Europe participated as observer to the working group and provided an expert to support the work of the group.
The recently presented publication includes the final report of this inter-departmental working group, which was also submitted to the BiH Parliamentary Assembly with the proposal to establish a new working group for the development of a strategy for the implementation of new technologies in the election process in BiH and the drafting of an Action Plan for its implementation. The decision for the establishment of such a new working group is pending.