13.12.2002 | Ludmila Kucherenko, Poltava

If the election in Ukraine were honest, we would live in another country


Nobody can say for sure, whether the Ukrainian citizens understand that the real democracy cannot exist without honest and transparent elections. Yet, during the time of independence they were convinced more than once that Stalin was right saying that the voting itself is unimportant, but everything is decided by those, who count the votes. So, all subjects of the election process (except those, maybe, who cannot win the sympathy of voters honestly and need the falsifications) are interested in the minimization of the influence of the human element on the results of the election.

Several days ago the seminar "The role of informational and technical maintenance of the election process in guaranteeing transparent, honest and free elections" was held in the Supreme Rada of Ukraine. The seminar was devoted to the perspectives of developing the legal regulations of informational and technical maintenance of the election process and the protection of the informational-analytical systems from the non-sanctioned intrusion and misuses.

The organisers of the seminar were: the institute of election right headed by MP Yuri Klochkovskiy and the Ukrainian-American project "Election and political processes". This was the fourth seminar on the problems of improving the election process held by them. The organisers use to invite to their seminars the members of the Central election commission; MPs; top officials of State communications committee, State committee of statistics, State tax administration; representatives of political parties, public organisations and mass media.

David Kupferschmidt, the manager of the project, told about the technologies of voting and counting votes applied in various countries. He said that it is curiously, but the most advanced in this sense country is Brazil, where every seventh inhabitant is illiterate: 90 million of votes are counted there only during… 10 hours. The term is so short because each election station is provided with a computer, which costs less than $400 and is connected to the national computer system. A voter presses the button that corresponds to the number of the chosen candidate, the photo appears on the monitor that shows the voter that he has not made a mistake and after this he presses the button "finish the task". At the same time the main computer of the Central election commission receives information that one more person voted and such-and-such candidate got one more vote. Maybe, nobody needs to be convinced that the shorter is the interval between the voting and the count of votes, the more honest would be the result of the election. The application of the computers in Brazil made the falsification impossible, and what is more, this made the parliamentary and presidential elections 20 times cheaper.

The authorities in Russia are going to introduce the computers-scanners at the election stations. These scanners will automatically read from the ballot-paper the number of the candidate chosen by a voter. Yet, it seems to me, the intelligent equipment would be helpless, if somebody would want to falsify the results and would mark several candidates, thus making the bulletin invalid.

Finally the participants of the heated discussion came to the agreement that it is impossible to reach the just and transparent elections both at local and state levels without applying new informational technologies. Without this the situation will remain the same: people will vote for some candidates, and mandates will be given to others.

The improvement of the election process is an urgent social need, beginning from the Law of Ukraine "On the Central election commission", the draft of which was presented for consideration to the Parliament by Yu. Klochkovskiy, and finishing with the local councils. Yet, it is already obvious that the process is hampered by a certain part of political elite, who does not want the electronic democracy. Fortunately, even the existing laws permit the Central election commission to introduce the electronic analytical system for controlling the election process and determining the results of the election.

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