The National Electoral Directorate (DINE) held this Saturday andl general electoral drill with a view to the Open, Simultaneous and Compulsory Primaries (PASO) on September 12 next, but there were data transmission failures which forced to abort the test and schedule a new one for the next weekend.
Sources consulted by Clarion confirmed that the parties requested the electoral authorities “minimum auditability conditions transmission systems and telegram counting “, since the failures detected in the day generated “various suspicions” in the transparency of the program.
The simulation was scheduled to begin at 6, with the enabling of the Digital Electoral Branches and with the proof of the data loading of all the telegrams in the provisional results counting system. However, everything was delayed, the test began at 9.30 and the first fault was detected when there was no reset of the screen, which is what indicates that there is nothing loaded in the system.
To comply with the test, the DINE was installed in two computer centers, at the headquarters of the Argentine Post Office in Barracas and in Monte Grande.
The most serious problems arose when the first telegrams began to arrive. As revealed by the auditors of the Radical Civic Union (UCR), “source data did not match streaming data, since they were dated August 1 and the date of receipt coincided with that of this Saturday “.
The impossibility of modifying the date of issue was immediately added to the accumulation of telegrams. According to what was specified by the auditors, at one point the data from 30 percent of the tables, which caused the system to overflow in the integrity recognition part of the telegrams.
By not being able to correct the contingencies thrown up by the data processing system, the electoral authorities had to “abort” the test and reschedule the last test for next Saturday, just two weeks before the elections.
Diana Quiodo, director of the DINE, explained that in the test this Saturday what was carried out was a deployment for “test the operation of the system and detect which points can be improved “.
In this sense, he confirmed that the political parties “have pointed out the issue of the metadata associated with some telegrams with respect to the date they were sent.”
According to what he was able to find out Clarion, the metadata that originates when the files are sent with the telegram “had two digits less” that the date of receipt of the documents and that was what partly “made the system collapse.”
For the representatives of the political parties, it generated “many suspicions” the fact that in the generation file of the shipment “the digits of seconds generated by the same system did not appear”, which leaves open the suspicion of a possible manipulation of telegrams.
Quiodo also recognized that adjustments should be made in the payroll of some digital electoral branches, “where they found it difficult to locate them”, because “some centers are very small, they only have one employee.”
Precisely, the political parties complained because they detected that in some places where the Post was going to transmit the telegram It was closed therefore, the place of origin of the data could not be corroborated.
Therefore, Quiodo clarified that “it was planned to do more than one drill, because it is important to test and express the system in the same way as it will be seen on election day. “
The official valued the work “in conjunction with the political parties, which were pointing out some issues” to work on next Saturday, when a new drill is held, and to re-examine “all the conditions of the election in terms of broadcasting count and dissemination of results “.
The truth is that the political parties, which were represented by their attorneys and computer auditors, demanded that the Government meet “the minimum auditability conditions for telegram transmission and counting systems.” This includes from access to files physically on the system, to the logs of networks, security, transmission and count among others, the geolocated information of the origin and time of the telegrams.
They also requested an external audit that guarantees the transparency of all electoral processes. At the moment, a meeting is scheduled for next week in which the representatives of the parties and the auditors will meet with the authorities of the Electoral Directorate and the Indra company, which will once again be in charge of the provisional scrutiny for the legislative elections of this year.
Quiodo, who supervised the task from the headquarters of the Post Office in Barracas, indicated that of the 17 thousand voting establishments ready for the 12th of next month “it will be transmitted from about 11 thousand, which are those who have the technical conditions to do so “, and reported that the dissemination of the data will be “from 21”, according to “what marks the norm”.
The official recalled that the transmission of telegrams “is in the head of the Argentine Post Office”, in accordance with the provisions of article 105 of the Electoral Code, “which has to deliver a copy to the National Electoral Justice and another to the DINE for that the Ministry of the Interior can make this provisional count. “
The drill data
For this drill, 13,663 transmission operators and 2,456 supervisors throughout the country were summoned and trained, in addition to 6,400 workers from the Argentine Post Office to provide technical, administrative and logistics support.
In addition, 1,170 data entry clerks participated in the telegrams, which were uploaded to the provisional counting system, and more than 2,000 computer attorneys and prosecutors from all political forces.
The operation involved the deployment of 3,826 vehicles to transport kits and transmission operators to the establishments.
Who will be in charge of the provisional scrutiny?
The Ministry of the Interior awarded the Spanish capital company Indra the provisional scrutiny of this year’s legislative elections, as it did in the elections held between 1997 and 2017.
Through the Administrative Decision 534/2021, published on June 2 in the Official Gazette, Indra was awarded the International Single Stage Public Tender by offering $ 1,594,702,340 for the service of “design, planning, development and operation of the typing, processing and publication service for the Provisional Count of Results at the national and district level.”
The offer corresponds to both the Open, Simultaneous and Compulsory Primary elections (PASO) as well as the general elections of national legislators, together with the provincial executive and legislative elections as well as municipal elections that are held simultaneously during the year 2021.