BACKGROUND Mongolia's lawmakers sought a step change in the transparency of their electoral systems to satisfy frustrated voters and to facilitate increased foreign investment. They immediately saw the benefits of an electronic voting system. The Mongolian General Election Commission looked at a range of voting system providers and chose Dominion Voting Systems for its proven technology and its unmatched customer service.
MONGOLIA IS THE SIZE OF
THE UK, GERMANY, FRANCE AND ITALY
PUT TOGETHER, WITH A
LITTLE LEFT TO SPARE.
What Dominion Did
Dominion had a very short timeline to ensure that Mongolia was election ready. It was a matter of six months between the contract signing and the nationwide election. Dominion rose to this challenge, with the quickest turn around for an election installation in their history. Dominion worked with the election representatives to develop a project plan that addressed the unique needs of Mongolia. This began with the manufacturing and programming of Dominion’s election tabulators.
Dominion provided Mongolia its ImageCast® Precinct Tabulator.
The advantages of Dominion's ImageCast® Precinct in this election:
The ability to produce images of each ballot was key
Easy-to-use functionality made it less of a challenge to educate the public
Optical scan voting allowed voters to vote intuitively
Tabulated counts capture every ballot
A strong local presence was critical to success. Dominion had to ensure that all of their products and services complied with the Mongolian election laws – which had only been finalized weeks before. Dominion worked closely with the Election Commission to understand the laws, and to develop simple, easy to follow Election Day procedures to ensure that all actions of the poll workers complied with the new requirements. Changes were also required to Dominion software; most important was the addition of the Cyrillic alphabet to the system to allow the tabulator to display and report the local language. A series of rigorous tests were agreed with the GEC and the National Security and Information Technology Ministries that resulted in the certification of the suite of Dominion Voting products for use in Mongolia. All ballot printing was directly supervised by Dominion employees. Dominion worked alongside certified local printing facilities to produce the election ballots.
Travelling is a challenge in Mongolia. Due to its location and topography, it can be a difficult place to get in and out of. Sudden extreme changes in weather conditions frequently result in flight cancelations, train-delays and impassable road conditions. Dominion employed a full-time logistician to keep shipping costs low and ensure on-time delivery of critical products.
Dominion worked with the GEC, paper suppliers and the printer to employ multiple layers of ballot security. This collaboration led to the development of a unique and easily identifiable ballot stock for the Mongolian election. Over 55 tons of ballot paper were shipped by sea from the paper manufacturer in Montreal, arriving ahead of schedule in spite of freight backlogs in China’s busy seaports.
Training was critical to staging a successful election. It was crucial to make all processes and procedures easy to follow and clear. All training materials were developed in Mongolia, and were provided in Mongolian languages. 160 ImageCast®s; Precinct were dispatched across the country to ensure that training was practical and hands-on.
It was an incredibly successful first install. In spite of the challenges posed by the difficult transportation, unreliable electrical grids, and unpredictable weather, fewer than 1% of tabulators failed – on par with mature implementations seen across the United States Results reporting was equally impressive with 25% received within 30 minutes, 50% within 1.5 hours, and 85% within 6 hours. The entire country would have been completed within 6 hours, as every poll was able to tabulate the ballots – but some polling locations were unable to transmit due to their remoteness and lack of Global System for Mobile (GSM) signal or Internet. Weather also affected the speed of tabulating the ballots – as the southern and eastern parts of the country experienced flooding on Election Day.
Our customers know better than anyone that the initial implementation is just the beginning of a long-term relationship. We were pleased that the initial implementation was a success, but for Dominion it was more important that we look at the bigger picture and use this initial event as a springboard to the formation of a long-lasting relationship. The local elections held on Nov 21st represented a considerable increase in complexity and an opportunity to build on our partnership.
In spite of extremely challenging winter conditions, over 99.5% of ICPs deployed worked flawlessly, with only minor issues being reported across the 2444 locations in the country. More than 50% of results were received within the first hour. Observers, party officials, representatives of the government and the public were in universal agreement that the election was a complete success.