November 5, 2015
Getting university students to participate in elections is an ongoing challenge for the student government; moreover, the students’ apathy towards voting is a reflection of voter apathy in society at large. With AUCA senate elections approaching, the student government has turned to technology in an attempt to increase voter participation.
On November 6th, 2015, Electronic voting with a biometric authentication system will be implemented at the American University of Central Asia, following the example of the October 4th, 2015 parliamentary elections for the “Kyrgyztani senate” (Zhogorku Kenesh), held on.
With the assistance of the Integra engineering group, AUCA will be using an e-voting process for the senate elections. Hopefully, these elections will provide a pilot example of this new system for the Kyrgyzstani government as well as providing AUCA’s own community with more transparency. AUCA’s election through e-voting will be the first of its kind, showcasing the advantages of the system and the willingness of the AUCA community to adopt innovations for the benefit of Kyrgyzstani society.
In the past, AUCA senate elections have involved paper ballots at a single voting site. The system was inconvenient and susceptible to error, but even so, this is the system used in Kyrgyztan’s governmental procedures. As technology has become more reliable and accessible, this new way of automating the election process has become available. According to the Integra engineering group, the new system eliminates many of the drawbacks of “paper-based” elections. E-voting guarantees two major benefits:
The organizers of this life-changing event at AUCA have helped conduct several clean and honest elections in Argentina (2015), the United States (2006), Belgium (2012-2014), and Estonia (2004-2015), to name a few.
So far, 572 students have been registered--an overall participation of more than 50% of the student body.