19 June, 2019 – The UTE formed by Scytl, a Leading Spanish company in electoral technology and Vector ITC, a Spanish technology and digital group dedicated to the constant improvement of technological solutions, together with the support of ODEC, a IT services company with a wide range of experience in electoral processes, has managed the great technological challenge that has led to the provisional scrutiny of the European, local and Island Council elections held on 26 May.
As a result of the news in the media this week regarding the provisional scrutiny of the elections, the UTE wants to clarify certain incorrect information that has been published.
The management of the interim counting operation has been developed as normal, despite the complexity of managing three simultaneous electoral processes. It has been a very important deployment of people and technical means to collect, process and disseminate the information of the 60,076 polling stations distributed throughout the territory. To carry out the transmission of data from the tables to the national counting centre, 22,300 mobile devices have been distributed, covering 91% polling stations, while 5,558 polling stations used telephone transmission.
The processing of the results has been an extraordinary technological challenge, since the coincidence of European and local elections did not occur for 20 years, and more with the current technological elements and exhaustive security requirements. The large number of nominations that have been cited in the process of last 26M has also contributed to the complexity of the challenge. According to electoral law, the votes were counted first to the European Parliament, after the local elections and finally that of the regional elections.
The tools enabled by the UTE have facilitated error and inconsistencies detection and system auditing, ensuring the reliability of the count data at all times. The technology implemented has been a true success story in the cybersecurity level. All the infrastructure deployed for the result consolidation system was completely isolated from any external network, from the data center expressly installed for the event to the devices that used the representatives of the administration to report the data. A closed circuit to external interference. In addition, at each step of data collection, digital signature validations were established to ensure the integrity and authenticity of the data, making it impossible for anyone to attempt to alter it without being detected.
Unfortunately, some content has been published that did not fully correspond to reality, mixing facts and opinions and scanning the information in a certain way. After the general count, there have been only changes in results that generate changes of seats in 229 tables of the total 60,076, which represents 0.38%, affecting only 98 municipalities of the existing 8,131. These values are completely within normal, in addition to the difference being not attributable at all to the management of the UTE, but are simple errors of transmission from the voting stations, as is the case in all electoral processes. These errors are subsequently verified at the final count with the proclamations of the electoral boards.
The criterion selected to show the results of the municipal-level elections and their aggregates (provincial, regional or national) has also been the subject of debate, given that only the votes that were involved in the parties had been reflected appointment of some councillor. At the municipal level, the total voting data had been collected, thus facilitating the possibility of a more thorough analysis for those who wished to do so. This difference of criterion, immediately corrected upon request, cannot be taken as an incident, since the data collection was always correct and transparent.
The operation deployed by the UTE has been successfully completed in order to facilitate interim results to citizens on election day with speed, accuracy and transparency. We would like to thank all the people who have made it possible: members of the polling stations, representatives of the administration, council of council sands, law enforcement, electoral boards, media, etc. and etc. especially the human teams of the Ministry of the Interior, the UTE and other collaborators.Karen Liedl