New Computers Help Armenia Update Voter Registry System
YEREVAN, ARMENIA – April 12, 2007 – Armenian citizens will soon have a new and more efficient way to confirm that they are registered to vote, thanks to a project implemented by IFES and funded by the United States government. The project will install 45 specially-designed computers in passport offices around the country over the next month to give voters immediate access to their voter registry records.
IFES will hand over the first of 10 computers to the Arabkir Passport Department of Police during a ceremony on Friday, April 13 at 11 a.m. Several high-ranking dignitaries plan to attend the event including Armenian Prime Minister Serge Sargsian, U.S. Charge d'Affaires Anthony Godfrey, Chief of the Republic of Armenia Police Hayk Harutyunyan, First Deputy Chief of Police Ararat Mahtesyan and OVIR Head Alvina Zakaryan.
Chedomir Flego, IFES’ chief of party in Armenia, said the computer project is the latest step in the country’s efforts to provide citizens with a modern voter registry system. IFES worked closely with OVIR officials to determine type of computer equipment needed to network all of the country’s passport offices and properly maintain the new voter registry database. The new system will be an improvement over the old system in which voters often had to wait more than a week to access their records.
“As soon as we can get this equipment in, the OVIR offices should be able to handle citizen queries very quickly,” said Flego, adding that the project is especially targeted toward helping rural voters access and update their voter records.
The $200,000 equipment donation is part of the U.S. government’s direct election assistance to the Armenian government under the Strengthening Electoral Processes and Administration in Armenia (SEPA) Project. The three-year project aims to further develop the newly-created national voter registry, update voter lists and address demand problems.
Oksanna Abrahamyan in Yerevan, +374 10 268 357, firstname.lastname@example.org
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IFES is an international, nonprofit organiz ation that supports the building of democratic societies.