UK based global election specialist, DRS Data Services Ltd, has successfully provided their world beating electronic counting solution for the National Democratic Party’s (NDP) Leadership Election in Canada.
With the objective of running a large, secure and accurate election that engaged with all party members, the NDP contracted with Scytl, a leading provider of e-Voting technologies, to implement a multi-channel voting solution during their March 2012 primary elections. Allowing voters to cast their vote in advance by post, and on-line, Scytl then turned to DRS to assist with the complex and time consuming task of capturing and counting the votes from the returned postal ballot papers. The election was to be run using the Single Transferable Vote method (STV), allowing voters to order candidates in order of preference. This would result in a long, complex and time consuming process of counting, if traditional manual method were to be used.
Voters were encouraged to engage with the on-line electronic channel, but still around 15,500 chose the mail-in option. The cost implications of managing the mail-in votes manually, i.e. hand counting, would have been prohibitive, especially given the short timescale required for the project delivery and the number of staff that would have been required. DRS’ e-Counting system delivered a solution that was more financially viable due to the requirement for significantly reduced resources yet increased efficiency. Equally important was the need for absolute system accuracy and transparency of process whilst maintaining unparalleled security.
DRS Project Manager, Ann Stewart-Baker explains; “One of the unique aspects of the DRS e-Counting solution is that there is full visibility of the workflow of each ballot paper throughout the process, allowing the opportunity for complete scrutiny. In this instance the whole process was adjudicated by candidate representatives and an independent auditor”.
For this reason the Returning Officer commented publicly that this was by far the best system he had worked with, particularly with regard to the adjudication of doubtful ballots.
Susan Crutchlow, General Manager for Scytl Canada, comments “Scytl are about the use of innovation to enable democracy. We chose DRS for their partnership approach and their ability to deliver a secure technology solution to the traditional counting of vote that could be relied upon to be fast, accurate and secure”.
Amanda di Florio, Operations Director at Shore Consulting Group, one of Scytl's local partners, commented “The DRS team was exceptional in their professionalism and compatibility with all groups involved.....in terms of the e-Counting system itself, there is nothing I could think of that was missing from it in terms of what it could do....the speed at which ballots were processed was also remarkable.”
DRS has over 40 years experience in delivering data capture projects around the world, sspecialising in examination and assessment processing and election and census solutions. Systems are implemented using the Company’s extensive expertise in document design, printing, award winning scanning and image capture technologies, software, logistics, project management and consultancy. Visit www.drs.co.uk for more details.
Scytl is a leading provider of state-of-the-art election technology to public and private institutions worldwide in countries that include the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, South Africa, Bosnia-Herzegovina, United Arab Emirates, India and Australia. Scytl is based in Barcelona with offices in Baltimore, Tampa, Toronto, New Delhi, Athens, Kiev and London. Scytl is a portfolio company of leading international VC funds Nauta Capital, Balderton Capital and Spinnaker SCR. More information is available at www.scytl.com.
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