DUSHANBE, February 21, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Mirzoali Boltuyev, chairman of Tajikistan’s Central Commission for Elections and Referenda (CCER), met here today with representatives of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Richard Lappin and Robert Krimer (phonetically spelled).

The source at a CCER says improvement of the voting system in Tajikistan, including gradual shift to e-voting system, was a major topic of the meeting.

According to him, Boltuyev confirmed Tajikistan’s intention to make shift to the e-voting system but noted that there were a number of obstacles for that.  The CCER head named financial problems and technical inexperience of electorate as the main obstacles in the way of introduction of the electronic voting system in Tajikistan.

He noted that according to the most conservative estimates, more than 22 million U.S. dollars were needed for shifting to the electronic voting system.  Tajikistan, however, plans to introduce the e-voting system in large cities during the next parliamentary elections that will take place in the country in 2015.

The ODIHR representatives, for their part, noted that the OSCE was ready to consider the issue of providing assistance to Tajikistan.

The CCER source says the ODIHR representatives arrived in Dushanbe today morning and during their stay here, they are scheduled to hold meetings with representatives of president’s executive office and Tajikistan’s civil society.

Electronic voting (also known as e-voting) is a term encompassing several different types of voting, embracing both electronic means of casting a vote and electronic means of counting votes.

Electronic voting technology can include punched cards, optical scan voting systems and specialized voting kiosks (including self-contained direct-recording electronic voting systems, or DRE). It can also involve transmission of ballots and votes via telephones, private computer networks, or the Internet.  Electronic voting technology can speed the counting of ballots and can provide improved accessibility for disabled voters.