San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Elections Could Be Electronic in 2006

HALF of Costa Rican voters couldcast their votes by electronic ballot in2006 if an agreement is formalizedbetween Costa Rica, Brazil and theOrganization of American States (OAS),according to the Supreme ElectionsTribunal (TSE).Brazil has offered to lend 4,000 electronicballot boxes to Costa Rica, permitting1.3 million votes – approximately50% of the electorate in the country’s2006 national elections.The Costa Rican election tribunaltouts the technology as a way to guaranteethe “universal, free, secret, personaland nontransferable vote,” and says it willfacilitate the scrutiny and auditing of thesystem.The system has been used in Brazilfor 115 million voters. That country alsohelped Paraguay with its elections lastyear. Both countries have been successfulin their experiments with electronic voting,the TSE said.The electronic ballot boxes have amechanism to recuperate voting data ifthere is equipment failure, according tothe TSE.Voters will not have a choice ofwhether to use the electronic ballotswhere they are offered, the entity added.

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