Togolese back away from ICT in elections
Centre for Democracy and Development writes,
"In the Togolese March 2010 Presidential Elections, an elaborate but credible system with support from the UNDP was deployed for the collation of results. It was planned that election results verified at all collation centers across the country should be keyed into a computer program and be received immediately at Lome, the capital. This process was to be monitored through a server stationed in Switzerland. This scheme was designed to curb the trend of vote rigging earlier observed in the Togolese elections of 2005. However, the Togolese electoral commission opted not to use the system at all in 2010.
CDD highlights that democratic elections are an expensive mode of democratic government, and ICT has emerged as a possible solution:
"So expensive is democracy that there are now ongoing debates on ways and means to cut the cost and to operate the system of democracy more frugally...The continued struggle for free an fair elections has opened up the use of technology and information and communication technology as a possible panacea to the myriad challenges bedeviling elections in the world. With such a huge youthful and ‘internet ready’ population in West Africa, the region is ripe for the use of ICT to prepare for, and conduct elections."
IFTF notes, that many systems are experimental or fledgling and countries might be afraid to embrace them. Such systems can also bring a level of transparency that governments, even democratic, aren't quite comfortable with. It isn't immediately clear why exactly the Togolese opted out of the computer system, but it should be a sign that barriers remain to having countries embrace ICT in elections.
Sources:The Centre for Democracy and Development, April 2010, page 3: http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/CDD_Apr2010.pdf#page=3
Universal Democracy? Prospects for a World Transformed - Larry Diamond, Joanne J. Meyers (http://www.cceia.org/resources/transcripts/4398.html)
A comparative series of national public attitude surveys on democracy, markets, and civil society in Africa - Afrobaromete. (http://www.afrobarometer.org/)
Democracy as a Universal Value - Amartya Sen (http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~dcrocker/Courses/Docs/Sen-Two%20Pieces%20on%20Democracy.pdf)
The Nation: http://thenationonlineng.net/web2/articles/38300/1/The-cost-of-democracy-in-Nigeria-since-1999/Page1.html
Electoral Commission of India: http://eci.nic.in/eci_main/faq/evm.asp