Colombians knew the outcome of the country’s national elections in record time on Sunday, with 95% of results published just an hour and a half after polling stations closed.
National Registrar Carlos Ariel Sanchez claimed that Sunday’s election represented a success for the Registry Office, attributing the speed of the results to forward planning by the office and co-operation between voting officials and the armed forces.
“It’s never been done before … it shows that with the effort of many people, voting officials, the armed forces, UNE, 21,000 registry workers and the help of God, everything went ahead,” said the registrar in an interview with El Tiempo.
Sanchez was keen to point out that the results of the second round of elections, on June 20, will be known even faster than the outcome of the first round. He stressed that the ballot counting process would require the “same speed,” despite there being only two candidates in the running.
The registrar denied all accusations that fraud took place during Sunday’s election.
“It is in the interest of the Registry Office that there are no doubts or suspicions, nor shadows over the electoral process … One cannot talk about fraud.”
The work of the Registry Office was not wholly without problems on Sunday, however, with several technical problems affecting the office’s website throughout the day. Sanchez blamed the problems on an overload of visitors to the site and denied that they may have been caused by hackers, which was suspected during Colombia’s congressional election of March 14.