Barcelona City Council Organises Virtual Councils

Barcelona Electronic Voting

Historian Yuval Noah Harari recently stated in an article for the Financial Times that the world will not be the same again after the pandemic. One of the changes that the author of Sapiens and Homo Deus anticipates in his letter is an accelerated digitization of many sectors. Indeed, after successive extensions of the state of confinement in several countries, many companies and governments have opted not only for teleworking, but also for holding telematic meetings, assemblies and plenary sessions.

Electronic Vote for Foundations, Institutes, Museums and Municipal Consortia

This is the case, among others, of the Barcelona City Council. Fifteen entities dependent on the consistory, among which are important institutions such as the Municipal Institute of Social Services, the Municipal Institute of Education of Barcelona or the Barcelona Culture Foundation were to hold their Governing Councils in April. But in March the State of Alarm was decreed. And, with the members of the Council confined to their homes, it was impossible to hold these events in person.

The IT Director of the City Council, Nacho Santillana, knew that there was the possibility of offering these entities the possibility of voting electronically. But how to launch a service of this nature with all the guarantees in less than two weeks? It was then that he contacted us.

Standard Voting Software and Custom Developments

Although in Kuorum we have spent seven years helping public and private clients to hold telematic meetings and assemblies with reliable electronic voting, this time we were challenged to assign multiple voting rights – since some of the voters were members of several Councils. In a few days we developed the necessary improvements to launch this new functionality into production. And in a week we had the Barcelona City Council voting platform ready to host all events.

Some entities chose to combine telematic voting with a videoconference session in which they presented the results of the exercise. Others simply sent the information to voters by email a few days before the vote. All thanks to the platform’s contact manager that allows sending mass emails to segmented audiences.

Secure Identification Process and Reliable Voting

The voting process allows verifying the identity of the users through a double or triple factor authentication process (personal password, SMS verification code and / or biometric signature). The client opted for a double factor process, which offers security similar to that required in most Internet banking transactions. And voters who had questions during the vote, were able to contact our call center directly to resolve them.

Report of Results and Recording of Votes

Just a few minutes after each vote, the Kuorum team sent the client the corresponding reports, including a file with the vote log (the voting logs). In addition to allowing these meetings to be held, which would not have been possible to organize otherwise, the Barcelona City Council managed to save on travel, room reservations and CO2 emissions.

In the following video, our client explains his experience with the service. If you have questions about electronic voting, contact us and we will guide you without obligation.