Albania continues election modernization drive

United States - March 9, 2022 - Albania reached a new milestone in its election modernization when six municipalities deployed a cutting-edge biometric voter authentication solution and electronic voting machines during its March 6 elections.

Working alongside technology partner Smartmatic, authorities deployed a full-scale solution including more than 1,000 VIU-818 devices in some 950 polling places. In addition to verifying voters’ identity, these powerful units help poll workers administer the process and allow authorities monitor election logistics and operation.

Commenting on Albania’s technology deployment, Smartmatic’s CEO Antonio Mugica said, “We’re proud to be part of this effort to bring increased levels of integrity to election administration. With the deployment of secure, cutting-edge technology, Albania is becoming a reference for the region and abroad.”

Electronic voting was also tested during the election. A select group of polling stations were equipped with 68 electronic voting machines. A global leader in secure election technology, Smartmatic has counted over 5 billion votes with zero security breaches. Its voting machines have enfranchised voters in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

To ensure both the biometric authentication and electronic voting ran smoothly, Smartmatic provided training and third-level onsite support. The company also provided oversight during the readiness process and software enhancements to both solutions.

With an eye toward joining the European Union, Albania has been making strides to improve election integrity. In 2020, authorities finished amending the country’s legal framework to enable biometric voter verification. In its 2021, the election commission rolled out about 5,000 biometric units for voter authentication. Azay Guliyev, special coordinator of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission in Albania, said that authentication system reduced the risk of family voting.

“This second election demonstrates Albania’s commitment to improving election integrity through the implementation of advanced election technology,” said Mugica. “We’re ready to continue assisting authorities and Albania’s broader election ecosystem, to ensure voters the greatest levels of transparency and efficiency.”