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Technical Chamber of Greece builds strong democratic governance with ABBYY FlexiCapture

greece-chamber-1

Customer Overview

Name Technical Chamber of Greece
Headquarters Athens, Greece
Industry Government
Products and Services Official technical advisor of the Greek state
Web
CHALLENGE

Improve the time-consuming processing of election results in the Chamber

SOLUTION

Implementation of a digital solution based on ABBYY FlexiCapture

RESULTS
  • Improved workflow: votes processes in
    1 week instead of 6 months
  • Minimized risk of mistakes

Established in 1923, the Technical Chamber of Greece (TCG/Τεχνικό Επιμελητήριο Ελλάδας (TEE)) is the Greek professional organization that serves as the official technical advisor of the Greek state and is responsible for awarding professional licenses to all practicing engineers in Greece.

The public organization has elected administration, consisting of 17 Administrative Committees of the Regional Sectors – 175 candidates.

SEE HOW ABBYY CAN HELP

150,000

ballots

293

ballot types

1 week

to get the results

Democracy or bureaucracy?

Every 3 years elections are held, determining the composition of the Chamber for the next term. The electoral competition itself is lively, but the export of the results used to be prolonged and agonizing.

Applying the conventional method of counting votes, the Electoral Commission used to manually process every ballot out of 150 000: check for compliance with all voting rules; address and fix potential objections; and finally manually compile all the necessary protocols, which were then registered in internal data base.

This laborious, repetitive, time consuming process used to take 6 months before the results could be published.

How did half a year turn into one week?

Automation of the process was first introduced as a solution for the 2007 election. IID company – one of the largest and most authoritative providers of Integrated Electronic Archiving & Archive Digitization Solutions – was invited not only as an integrator in the project but also as an expert consultant, recommending ABBYY FlexiCapture as a data capture solution for the project.

The preference was given to ABBYY FlexiCapture due to several objective reasons. The technology had one of the most advanced supports of Greek scripts and fonts, which made it possible to process huge volumes of paper ballots with hand-printed checkmarks within the shortest time period and with minimal human control.

Since the first success in election ballots processing, every 3 years the project is held with the help of ABBYY data capture technologies.

How does it work inside?

The process started improving with the creation of a special ballot format, which featured a new design and integrated rules defining how the data should be extracted and automatically verified, depending on the organ and the region concerned. This was done with the help of special ABBYY FlexiCapture tools, namely Form Designer and Document Definition.

Each ballot had a special header, containing the number and barcode for each organ; the rules stated the number, combination and specific locations of cross marks per side to identify validity of every particular document. All the above was applied to all 293 different ballot types, some of them listing up to 175 candidates.

Extracted from the ballot box, the filled-in forms were scanned and automatically recognized to find preference crosses and calculate the results. Before publishing the results, ABBYY FlexiCapture performed logical checks, described above. Then the Election Committee confirmed the verification, registered the results and a report was automatically compiled.

Since then the system has been processing over 150,000 paper ballots each election.

“For Technical Chamber of Greece, the decision to move to a digital system was not taken lightly. The project was very critical and we had to work very close to TCG team, proactively and reactively providing them full assistance in order to achieve the best results. Using ABBYY FlexiCapture technology, we managed to deliver an accurate, reliable and user friendly solution to Technical Chamber of Greece. By using ABBYY technology TCG convinced that the automatic data input can be done with significant reduction of human errors, so that they can get an accurate & good data analysis.»
Andrew Mikonios, Software Development Manager at IID Interlease Dsa

Final results

ABBYY FlexiCapture provided powerful tools to integrate custom stages and external modules. Thus it seamlessly connected with the existing Central Results Collection System of the Technical Chamber, through which the results were approved by Electoral Commission.

The export of the results takes less than 1 hour, but due to the approval procedure the final publication time increased to 3 hours, which is definitely incomparable to previous results processing.

As a result, IID’s expert offer to introduce ABBYY FlexiCapture into the project helped the Technical Chamber of Greece to significantly simplify and accelerate ballots processing and almost immediately publish the results (in 1 week compared to previous 6 months); to establish the modern electronic format of election process and, of course, to reach one of the most important goals – minimize the probability of misrepresentation of the voters’ choice.

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