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.
to get the results
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.
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.
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.
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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