Response to a Request for Proposals Paper Elections and Political Process Programs Country: Bolivia
Professor: Allan Rosenbaum and Rachel Emas Florida International University PAD 6056 – Capstone Summer 2011 By: Maria H. Webb – 1196429
RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS PAPER ELECTIONS AND POLITICAL PROCESS PROGRAMS AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION IN BOLIVIA FOR DEPLOYING ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES PROJECT An unsolicited proposal Submitted to USAID/Bolivia by the Institute for Public Management and Community Service of Florida International University in association with the Bolivian Institute of Public Administration of the Bolivia Academy of Public Administration And the Boliva NGO:IFES International Foundation for Electoral Systems
Executive Summary: The establishment of an electronic voting system in a country that is still struggling to plant democracy is more of a political venture than anything else. For it to be successful, will have to rely on professional research and will be driven by the understanding of the parties involved. As such, the voters as well as the candidates of elections will be major factors to consider. In that regard, the technical part of the project is miserably dwarfed in terms of importance and concern by the need to make the whole system acceptable, both politically and socially. This means working along with the parties concerned in order to create the trust and faith that is needed for the system to be successful in all ways. This document is a through consideration of the pros and cons of implementing such a project, with regard to cost, research and all the resources needed in the implementation of the project. User concerns, beliefs and the role of age and presence of democracy are critically analyzed to establish a clear and firm ground in which the project should be established.
3 I. Background
The Bolivian electorate has undergone numerous changes over the past many decades from the time the nation achieved its independence. As a result, many governments have been formed un-democratically over the years. Coups have been a major feature in the Bolivian administration especially in periods of 1970 and 80s. Therefore, with much effort the democracy in Bolivia was restored in the dawn of the 1980s decade. This was after a military rule of a whole decade between 1970 and 1980. However, a free and fair election is what Bolivia needs in order to implement a healthy democracy. In the last three decades alone, Bolivia has held over ten elections. In the years from 1979 to 1980, an election was held each year in the search for democracy, none of which can be said has delivered. However, the elections in Bolivia are hectic and the election period has a big effect on the economy of the nation. During the few days preceding national elections, citizens are not allowed to move around and there is numerous restrictions imposed on travel and transport. This effort is made in the hope of curbing electoral misdemeanors by the voters, such as double voting. As a result, the elections are a chaotic for the Bolivian people even with all the precautions taken, there are still dissatisfactions attached to the elections results. The recent 2009 elections where Evo Morale won the presidency is a good example. Many people were not satisfied by the outcome of the elections and believed that the election was littered with unprofessional conduct. As Williamson, Cooke, & Jenkins (2003) assert well implemented electronic voting system would be suitable enough to make sure that the electoral body is able to eliminate any unprofessional conduct as well as get rid of all the inconveniences that the election brings to the nation. By implementing such a system, the nation will have saved itself a great deal of money used to cater for the many electoral clerks and the many travel restrictions will no longer be
4 necessary. This system will also be a guarantee that the contenders of the election...
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