From left to right: Dr Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean-International IDEA; Ambassador Carlos Appelgren, Director General of Consular Affairs and Immigration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, and Mr Alfredo Tapia, Member of the Vote Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile. Photo Credit: Andrea Soto.
Dr Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean participated, along with a panel of experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, led by Ambassador Carlos Appelgren, in an Evaluation Workshop on "Chilean vote abroad: experiences and learning," held on 29 August 2017.
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On 2 July 2017, Chileans living abroad, for the first time, exercised their right to vote from outside the country during the primary elections. In that context, Ambassador Carlos Appelgren, the Director General of Consular Affairs and Immigration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Chile organized an Evaluation Workshop "Chilean vote abroad: experiences and learning" at the headquarters of the Chilean Diplomatic Academy "Andrés Bello".
The workshop was inaugurated by Ambassador Appelgren, and Dr Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean-International IDEA. During the workshop, presentations were delivered by Abraham Quezada, Director for the Community of Chileans Abroad (DICOEX for its Spanish acronym); Antonio Correa, Head of Vote Abroad Unit of the MoFA, as well as members from the professional team of the MoFA involved in the implementation of the Chilean vote abroad initiative.
During his presentation, Dr Zovatto undertook a detailed analysis (based on International IDEA´s manual and database on external voting) of the main modalities and trends that currently exist, both globally and regionally in Latin America, on the issue of voting abroad. He also congratulated the authorities of the MoFA for the successful implementation of voting abroad in the primary elections. Dr Zovatto expressed his appreciation for the confidence placed in International IDEA and reassured, on behalf of Secretary General Yves Leterme, the commitment of International IDEA to continue supporting this important initiative that guarantees full exercise of the political rights of Chileans residing outside the country.
During the workshop, different phases and components of the implementation of the Chilean vote abroad were discussed, including change of address and electoral registration, inter-institutional coordination, dissemination and communication, legal orientation, training, and collaborating with the Chilean diaspora, among others. Additionally, lessons learned as well as the main challenges and issues that require adjustments in the face of the Presidential elections on 19 November 2017 were also discussed.
At the end of the workshop, participants shared their views and proposals to achieve successful implementation of voting abroad by Chileans during the forthcoming Presidential elections.