An automated information system Moldova is introducing to help administer elections could become a powerful management tool but improvements are necessary, according to an assessment by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) presented in Chisinau on 26 July 2012.
The assessment states that the regulations determining how the system operates need to be further developed, and that the Moldovan Central Election Commission should be given greater resources to ensure that the system, called “Alegeri”, is properly run and maintained.
A number of concerns are also raised about the accuracy of voter data, including addresses, and how these are verified, updated and stored. Further, the assessment states that plans to computerize all of the country’s polling stations and link them up as part of an online network might be too ambitious and costly.
The assessment also addresses issues related to voter registration that have been raised in past ODIHR election observation missions reports, including plans for the establishment of a state voter register.
The assessment concludes that a long process of reforms would be necessary to ensure that such a voter-registration system functioned properly, and that Moldova’s population-registration authority appears to be best positioned to compile voter lists in the long term.
It notes a number of intermediate steps that would help improve the quality of voter lists ahead of the next elections, including the use of personal identification numbers, making sure that the same documents and procedures are used for registering both people’s personal data and their addresses, and improving co-operation between all institutions involved in voter and population registration.
The assessment was undertaken upon request by the Central Election Commission of Moldova and is in line with the commitment made by all OSCE participating States to follow up promptly on recommendations made in ODIHR election observation reports.