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Electoral Board

Country

Mexico

Organization

Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute of the State of Jalisco

Period

2017-2018

Type of experience

e-government, open government

SDGs

SDG 16

Objectives

To improve the quality of public decision-making through the mechanisms of participatory democracy. The Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute designed and made available to the citizens of Jalisco the "Electoral Board" (Tablero Electoral) , whose main objective was to provide information and tools necessary to cast an informed vote in the 1 July, 2011 election.

How have you achieved this objective?

Without a doubt, the information contained in the "Tablero Electoral" website was a very important resource for citizen empowerment since, thanks to the proposals of the candidates to the 2017 - 2018 election, there is the possibility of demanding compliance with their commitments.

To what extent has this objective been achieved?

Firstly, we have the Electoral Board website visits data, which confirms that there was much interest to know the campaign proposals and the electoral platforms not only of the candidates, but of the political parties. These proposals also help people find ideological affinities of political character in the form to conceive the community where they live.

The total number of visits was: 30,141, in approximately 10 countries, bringing the information not only to residents in Jalisco, but also abroad.

 

Participants

How has the experience been coordinated with other actors and processes?

The elections in Mexico are not only carried out by an institution, but through a national electoral system, that is to say, through the inter-institutional collaboration of different agencies. In this sense, the Electoral Institute, through the Electoral Board, had the valuable collaboration and active participation of many candidates and political parties that fed the information with their proposals and electoral platforms. In addition, we had the collaboration of the specialized prosecution for the attention of electoral crimes, which provided accurate and timely information for raising awareness and avoiding criminal conduct to the detriment of the democratic quality of the elections as a civic and citizen exercise, which are extremely important for social peace in our State. 

In this sense, we consider the significant progress important, both technologically and in terms of information content. 

What has been the level of co-responsibility?

The information contained in the Electoral Board is merely political. Therefore, obtaining content which would not have been possible without the will of the candidates and political parties. As an autonomous electoral body, we consider it critical to appeal to the civic conscience of such actors, so that they make their proposals available to the citizens.

On the other hand, the limitations in terms of making this tool known to more people led us to create links with civil society organizations and educational institutions, so that through presentations and informative talks they could extend the tool to more and more people who received the information, so more people would know about the existence of the tool and use it for the benefit of everyone.

It is clear that this is a tool of co-responsibility. It was not enough that the Electoral Institute made it available, the candidates and political parties should provide information, civil society, academics and citizens in general visit and disseminate it. In that sense, some months later scientific research articles emerged where they used the Electoral Board to generate analysis; the academic sector was also co-responsible. 

Description

Which is the most innovative aspect of the experience?

The most innovative element was asking each of the candidates for information regarding their campaign proposals and the electoral platforms of the political parties supporting them.

This was undertaken with a very important civic sense, in which citizens that would elect those who would occupy public positions (and therefore govern their municipalities), or the positions in the local congress (those who have the power to create laws that affect the daily life of the inhabitants), could do it in a reasoned way. That is, comparing the way in which each candidate would act on certain sensitive issues to the community, such as governance and security, mobility, economic development, environment, culture, among others.

In addition, different important topics for citizens were integrated, such as locating the exact address of the voting booth where they would go to vote, or knowing the behaviours that the law determines as electoral crimes and the way to report them to the competent authority to investigate them for their action.

To what extent is the procedure transferable?

The experience obtained in the implementation of the Electoral Board allowed us to progress in the degree and sophistication of the content, with respect to the previous experience in 2015. In this sense, and despite having achieved a better information site, we realize that there are areas of opportunity and continuous improvement that will undoubtedly increase the quality of the site exponentially, achieving a significant impact on the mission of this tool, as a useful means of citizen empowerment for the next electoral process in the State of Jalisco.

Thus we consider that it is transferable in time and can be used every three years in the electoral processes, but it is also transferable from place: any entity or organization that wants to collect electoral information could use a similar tool. 

Why do you consider that the experience is feasible?

It is undoubtedly feasible because no extraordinary economic resources were required due to the fact that there is already: a server to host the Electoral Board; computer expertise; a procedure to deliver information; personnel to whom the organization can be assigned. Its feasibility is evident and transferable every three years. 

 

Which evaluation and accountability mechanisms were used?

As can be seen in a previous section, there were 30,000 visits. For the 2020 process, an impact assessment tool was sent via the Electoral Board website to political parties, candidates, civil society and academia to evaluate the tool. In this exercise, academics from the University of Guadalajara  (Dr. Monica Montaño, Professor Harold Dutton, Professor Cásar Omar Perez), Professor Alfredo Ceja from the Universidad Panamericana, political party representative Leonides Zayas and former independent candidates Oswaldo Ramos and Susana Ochoa have evaluated the Electoral Board and issued recommendations. 

Some of the conclusions are that the dissemination and socialisation of the tool should be improved in order to have a bigger reach and to improve the generation of statistics to measure impact. This is undoubtedly an area of opportunity.

Comments of the jury

"This project calls for transparency, pedagogy and the commitment of candidates in elections. A very good contribution to SDG 16 and to building the foundations of participation".

"Very interesting and innovative proposal, particularly in a global context of electoral abstention, to empower citizens in their local decision-making and voting"

 

Note: this experience was drafted by the institution which presented the candidacy for the 14th IOPD Award.

 

Annex:

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