UCI guarantees an accurate information of the constitutional process
The National Electoral Commission (CEN) is one of the regular clients of the Center of Technologies and Data Management (Datec) -directed by MSc. Reynaldo Álvarez Luna- of the University of Informatics Sciences (UCI). In 2011 CEN made its first contact, seeking to solve its computerization needs.
A team of Computer Science Engineers graduated from this university and working in it, developed two web systems that manage the statistics of the elections of the People's Power: prior process of structures (commissions, polling stations ...), votes and registration of parties, facilitating the partial and general elections of 2013 and 2015, the latter done with the already improved system. The system was also used successfully in the past elections of 2017-2018.
Taking into account the experience and compliance of the client, the team, which did not have any skills concerning referendums, was asked to develop Cuba's Electoral Management System. Eager to work and contribute to such an important task for the country, it was ready in record time for the dynamic test.
In order to find more information, we visited the Department of Integration of Datec Solutions, to locate Mr. Josué Mojena Marín, the leader of the project, who told us that us willing not to fail, they had to make an extra effort, working long hours of the day, on weekends, holidays, and on vacations, without having any digital information to compare (since the previous elections had taken place in 1976).
Without knowing what was going to be registered, he added that approximately in 2015-2016, a system was prepared to have it ready with a view to a possible referendum; nevertheless, after concluding the last elections of delegates and deputies to the National Assembly, we had to analyze each one of the needs of the client with a view to the constitutional referendum, to reflect on the task and to undertake it.
"In record time, we made the system ready to use, nothing missing from it, and prepared to withstand and receive all the information managed from the constituencies. It was a stage of much sacrifice, due to the commitment we have with the country: to guarantee a trustworthy process, where the information is accurate and in time, and with a system that responds to the needs of the moment we are living, which cannot wait for the results of a slow process, through the use of Word, or Excel. NO. We feel rewarded for the sacrifice of having achieved a more dynamic web system.
"Now, when the time to vote is closer, there is a 24-hour operational guard, ready to accomplish anything during the process and during the development of the application. Currently, 15 engineers make up the team, which is divided in two, a group at UCI to resolve any nonconformity in real time (updating, maintenance, changes in the application ...).
"The other group works in the CEN headquarters, doing all kinds of support: clearing up doubts, giving advice and training those who are work with the system, and verifying the flow of information throughout the nation. About ten people supervise each of the regions of the country, organized by West, Center and East in order to act in response.
- In other words, the thousands of reports that are registered in the base almost immediately reach the national commission, who can know the status of each of the moments of the elections. What is the work they are doing at the moment?
- Currently, the structures of the system are being managed, and the members of the electoral commissions at all levels, as well as the computation groups are being trained... Everything is recorded as statistics, so that comparisons can be established in the future.
"We are preparing ourselves, so that on February 24th, we start getting the statistics of the votes by the hours of each report; there are five of them and then a final closing, also called the Sixth report, when the ballot counting is made. This report registers the valid ballots, the blank and null ones, and the valid ones. The number of people who vote Yes, or No, are also reported, counting them in each case. All the information is recorded the same day using the system developed in our University".
- How important do you think is the support, that young people like you give to the Law of Laws of the Republic of Cuba?
- As Fidel rightly said, we are the relay, the hope, the ones in charge of giving continuity to the socialist system, to the Revolution, which has made it possible for me to become an engineer, like many of my comrades who live in rural areas, where at other times they would not have been able to study. And, by creating a system that guarantees the transparency and immediacy of the electoral processes in the country, I can be thankful in some way.
"The very idea of voting for a new Constitution that corresponds to the moments that the country is living, is something unique with which we young people have to feel well identified and with a great responsibility. That's how I feel, it's a challenge, where I have to give the best of myself, and compensate for everything I have received. It's time for us to make a contribution and offer whatever we can."
And as he talked, the emotion blurred his eyes, filled with fidelity to the Homeland, to the Revolution and to Fidel.