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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

SEC adds online voter registration option

By Richard Gutiérrez

The latest public service office in Puerto Rico to adopt an online approach to make things easier for citizens, the State Elections Commission (SEC), unveiled at a press conference on Monday its new technological system, the Electronic Voter Registry (eVR), with which the voter will be able -- from anywhere and in real time -- to carry out their electoral transactions electronically.

“Times move forward and push us to modernize and streamline electoral processes,” said Jessika Padilla Rivera, the SEC interim chairwoman. “With the help of technology, we intend to provide voters with direct access that allows them to have an easy, safe and direct way to carry out electoral procedures without the need to visit a board of permanent registration.”

Now, from any electronic device, voters will be able to register and update their electoral records. Registering in the new eVR system is very easy, Padilla Rivera was quick to point out. She said voters will only need to have an email address, and complete and provide the information and required documents. The voter will receive a response once their request has been processed and approved.

“With the eVR we give absolute power to the voter, converting their electoral registration into their property,” Padilla Rivera said. “We urge you to keep an eye on the SEC social networks and the portal cyber, where we will be providing information on how to use this new technological system.”

The official stressed that the new system is not a replacement in terms of the current system and how it works, but rather an additional tool to add to the SEC’s arsenal.

“This doesn’t mean that individuals won’t be able to transfer and change data on their electoral cards the traditional way, it’s just an extra tool,” she said.

Aníbal Sanbrana, deputy director of the Office of Information Systems and Electronic Processes (OISEP) added: “We have taken all of the precautions to make sure that all data is well protected, all of the servers are well protected. We are confident that voters’ data will not be breached.”

In other words, voters should not be worried about cyberattacks, and the officials insisted on the system’s reliability.

“Our systems … will have the capacity to withstand the volume of people who are going to use it,” OISEP Director Eduardo Nieves said. “While right now we don’t expect a high demand, our systems are prepared for when demand does come.”

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