BA City to use paper ballots after voting machine fiasco in primaries

Electronic voting was scrapped after an admonishment from a federal judge due to long delays in the primaries

Buenos Aires City residents will use paper ballots to vote for all positions in Sunday’s general elections, ditching the voting machines used to choose local authorities in the August 13 primaries. 

Once at the voting station, voters will have one set of ballots for national authorities and another for local positions. They will select one ballot from each set and place them both in the envelope that goes in the ballot box. 

Foreigners with permanent residence in Buenos Aires City are only allowed to vote for local authorities. This means they will only need to select the ballot for mayor and legislators and place it in the envelope. 

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BA City authorities abandoned electronic voting machines in favor of paper ballots for all positions. It followed an admonishment from a federal judge due to the long delays voters experienced during the primary elections.  

In a note sent to Buenos Aires City and national election authorities a few days after the primaries, federal judge María Servini called the BA City polls “the most problematic election of the last 30 years” due to the significant delays caused by technical issues with electronic voting machines. 

“To subject the citizenry to the degrading conditions under which they voted on August 13 again would be a mockery,” the judge noted.

Servini had already called attention to these problems while the primaries were taking place, pointing to specific issues her team had confirmed in polling stations across the city. While some machines didn’t work, other voting centers had them but were unable to get them running or test them. BA city residents reported waiting for as much as two hours in some voting centers.


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