In an unprecedented trend, 6 Chilean higher education campuses, plus the University of Costa Rica, have carried out 91 electoral processes in 2020.
It could be said that 2020 has been the year of university electronic democracy. Six Chilean higher education institutions, plus the University of Costa Rica, have carried out 91 electoral processes to define new authorities, in an absolutely unprecedented trend in the country.
As a rule, these elections have had the support of academics, which has resulted in a significant increase in participation rates.
Between June and December, the Universidad de Concepción held 41 elections under the electronic voting system. Deans were elected in six schools: Physics and Mathematical Sciences, Veterinary Sciences, Medicine, Pharmacy, Legal and Social Sciences and Economic Sciences. Additionally, 35 departments voted for their new Heads. Participation reached an average of over 90%.
The Universidad de Concepción was a pioneer in the process of electing academic authorities through electronic voting among Chilean universities. When it made its debut in June, with the election of the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, the Rector of the university, Carlos Saavedra, described the process as “historic”.
Between August and December, the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción held elections to choose authorities for the School of Sciences, the School of Economics and Administrative Sciences, the School of Education, the School of Communications, History and Social Sciences, and the School of Economics and Administrative Sciences.
Meanwhile, the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, held a series of elections between October and December, electing authorities for 13 departments in the Viña del Mar and Concepción campuses, for the university’s Superior Council, the representatives of the Viña del Mar and Concepción campuses to the Campus Regulation Council and the members of the Academic Council. Finally, it voted for the representative of the Alumni of the campus in the Superior Council.
Between October and December 2020, the Universidad Católica del Norte held five elections to choose the academic representatives to the Electoral College; department or school directors; academic representatives to the Superior Council and support staff representatives to the Superior Council.
In December 2020, the Universidad de Santiago de Chile chose, for the first time ever, authorities through electronic voting. With 47 open ballots on the same day, the campus elected seven deans, 24 department directors and 18 councilors. The participation in the election of deans reached 97%, that of directors 92%, and that of councilors 88%.
In addition, EVoting will be in charge of the consultation of the university community for the change of the Organic Statutes of the University, which will take place at the end of January.
In addition, Universidad Austral de Chile held for the first time its general assembly of members electronically and remotely, through the EAssemblies platform.
At the international level, EVoting held four elections at the University of Costa Rica in November, a process that ended successfully, with an average participation rate of 73%. Virginia Borloz, President of the University Electoral Tribunal, stated that the process “enhanced democracy” on campus.
Between June and August, the Universidad Mayor chose the authorities of its student organizations: the Board of Directors of its Student Federation and the representatives of the Student Centers and the Territorial Councils.
Likewise, at the end of the year, the new student boards of two of the most important and numerous student federations in the country - FEUSACH, Student Federation of the University of Santiago, and FEUC, Student Federation of the Catholic University - were elected using the EVoting platform.