What countries use or have used video cameras/webcams in polling stations as a confidence-building and transparency measure?
How have these countries assessed their experience, taking into account costs and the effect on public confidence?
They can demonstrate some "well-visualized" violations (like massive throwing-in of ballot papers), but not manipulations in the voter lists.
Also, vote counting and tabulation, in most cases remained because these processes took place not in the area observed via the cameras or the quality of the video wasn't high enough. Albania actually used a system of cameras mounted over ballot counting tables to increase transparency and remote-monitor counting in 2009.
Regarding our Ukrainian experience, the following issues should be reiterated in addition to replies kindly provided by the experts earlier: - Use of cameras should be a well-considered decision, agreed with all stakeholders, supported by the voters and made in advance before the elections.
The issue should be regulated in the legislation consistently and properly.
It was critised and found inefficient by the international observation missions, local experts, NGOs and lateron - by the Central Election Commission representatives; -Equipment should be procured via a transparent and accountable procedure.
En cambio, si se podría utilizar las cámaras fuera del lugar de votación para monitorear la seguridad.In the case of Georgia it was a closed-circuit feed and not public.Professor Eric Herron has done some good research on the topic, mostly looking at the last example.In the event, what problems there were in that election occurred mainly during the count and not during the actual voting process which was monitored by the webcams.Julian Nundy In Mexico we don't use cameras or any other device in polling stations.In the case of Russia and Ukraine, I don't know of any internal assessment, and I doubt increasing transparency was the actual goal.Putting cameras in polling stations risks reducing confidence in voting if people feel it could compromise the secrecy of their ballot.Summary of Responses PN members addressed the question by citing examples of various countries that have used video cameras and/or webcams in the voting process, stating issues and/or advantages with usage, recommending criteria for successful usage of video cameras and webcams in the voting process, and stating other measures sometimes used to promote transparency and build confidence.A summary of the responses follows: 1) Examples of countries that have used video cameras and/or webcams in the voting process: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan have all done this.However, in my country (Sierra Leone), and in some other countries where I have witnessed/observed elections, the use of cameras is guided by either the legal, administrative or other institutional framework.The secrecy of the ballot may be seriously compromised in instances where the use of cameras is unregulated.