Citizen participation processes 2021: 33.3% increase over 2020

  • Written by EVoting Communications
  • /
  • December 30th, 2021

Between 2013 and 2021, EVoting has conducted 66 processes, and received 1,534,314 votes from 64 municipalities.

Citizen participation, that is, the intervention of citizens in decision-making on issues of their collective life, is an acquired right that today has a legal framework and mechanisms for its exercise in many countries of the world. However, the modality in which this form of participation is exercised had an important change as a result of the pandemic, which consolidated the remote digital modality. Indeed, during 2021, EVoting carried out citizen processes with 33 municipalities throughout Chile, more than 10% of the municipalities in the country. As for the votes received, in 2020 they reached a total of 17,246, a figure that in 2021 grew to 147,301, that is, 754.12%.

“Citizen participation is associated with mechanisms of direct democracy, such as public consultations or plebiscites, and the health crisis apparently deepened the need for citizens to give their opinion, among other things on what should be done in their environment in relation to the pandemic,” said Felipe Lorca, EVoting’s Voting Manager. As an example, he mentioned the consultations carried out by the commune of La Reina, in Santiago de Chile, and by the rural and southern commune of Loncoche, both on the return to classes for children. Likewise, Lorca highlighted the massive consultation carried out in the 32 communes of La Araucanía, southern Chile, in November 2021, in which 145,000 people voted, an event that the regional Governor, Luciano Rivas, described as “a historic event; the first time that a citizen consultation has been carried out in the whole region (…) and it was a transparent, democratic and massive vote”. In a similar way, the Mayor of La Reina, in Santiago de Chile, José Manuel Palacios, said that “participation is part of the essence of La Reina and one of the key axis of the Municipality”, and Alexis Pineda, Mayor of Loncoche, invited the neighbors “to join this new space of Electronic Democracy, secure, efficient and concrete”.

Historical participation Between 2013 and 2021, EVoting has carried out 66 citizen participation processes and received 1,534,314 votes from 64 municipalities. The consolidation and diversification of this demand has led the company to make several innovations to its EParticipate platform. “We have redesigned the tool into a modular one, because citizen participation is not only voting; it also involves interaction, communication and will in dynamic and moving processes,” said Lorca. Thus, the new platform allows, in addition to voting, surveys, polls on community issues, assemblies, neighborhood meetings, raffles, event registrations and other activities organized by the Municipality, all coordinated electronically and remotely.

Successful cases.

Some of the citizen processes carried out by EVoting are: Consultation 32 Municipalities of the Araucanía Region; “Araucania Consultation”, November 2021. Participation: 144,994 people.

Consultation Municipality of La Reina; “Opinions on COVID 19”, May 2020. Participation: 5,518 people.

Consultation Municipality of Concepción; “Concepción’s Regulation Plan”, January 2020. Participation: 11,728 people.

Municipal Consultation 29 Municipalities, “Plebiscite on the New Constitution”; December 2019. Participation: 1,055,044 people.

Consultation Municipalities of Antofagasta, Las Condes, Lo Barnechea, Quilpué, Peñalolén, Colina, La Reina, La Florida; “Time Limits Consultation”, June 2019. Participation: 120,772 people.

Consultation Municipality of Renca: “Participatory Budgeting”, November 2018. Participation: 12,579 people.

Consultation Municipalities Las Condes, La Reina and Providencia; “ Padre Hurtado Park’s Lake”, October 2018. Participation: 77,812 people.