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Subject: [election-services] Candidate statement - Charbel Aoun

Mary and all


Allow me to start by saying thank you to John Borras for leading the efforts and for all the work he did. It was a great pleasure working with him for the last few years.


Please find below my candidate statement.




Charbel J. Aoun


          My work with XML started back in 2000 at election.com. In my capacity as Vice President International Operation, I was the key sponsor to introduce interoperability and open standards in the e-voting industry. This was the outcome of our early multi-channel work (Internet and Telephone), the demand by our government clients for flexibility in suppliers’ choice and the universal consensus that interoperability is the key to Election verifiability. With election.com R&D team we produced the first schemas known at the time as BML (Ballot Mark-up Language) which became later the core of today’s EML.


          I am a co-founder of the Election Services Committee, co-author of the first EML specifications and remains to date an influential ambassador of EML. Having said that, and as my colleagues in the committee would recall me always saying, EML is still at its very early stages and requires much more practical efforts and testing on the ground. This would be achieved by expanding the circle of practical adoption and implementation. We will use the work done in the UK as a platform to centralise lessons learned and jumpstart the roll out across other geographies. I believe there are too many parallel initiatives that have similar objectives to the OASIS Election services committee. Such initiatives are diluting the efforts, confusing the users and substantially delaying our progress: We need to rationalise our collaboration and consolidate everyone’s effort under EML.


          Our greatest challenge is the active dissemination and wider adoption of EML. In that respect our first order of business will be to find the best vehicle to achieve this for which I see two key milestones: new UK standard ownership and international sponsors.

A brief action plan would include the following:

  • Lobbying: Create a support network with NGOs, Government agencies, Governments, cross-national entities to promote the case for EML
  • Buy in: Organise cross initiatives with relevant parties with the intention to investigate how to eliminate the current duplication of efforts. Ensure that Government technology officers and senior government members are committed to EML and translate this commitment into action
  • Collaboration: Acknowledge the work done by others and be open minded on the best integration route. The existing efforts may be the best platform for enhancing localised EML
  • Resource: Find funding and committed resources in target geographies
  • Decentralization: Encourage in parallel, local efforts with a central body (EML TC) coordinating and driving the efforts to ensure synergy and homogeneous advancement. Produce various draft schemas for new joiners, consolidate within the TC, validate and produce new specifications accommodating all the new requirements
  • Enable: Set up a web based platform that enables better communication in a virtual environment. Interactive tools are an efficient approach to facilitate our work (Online calendar, bulletin board, newsgroups…)
  • Commitment: Such efforts will still require the full dedication and commitment of every member of OASIS but also and increasingly the cooperation of the private and public sector.


          Over the last 7 years, I was in charge of the implementation of large scale major multi-channel e-voting projects internationally with responsibility over cross-cultural, diverse and virtual teams. I have worked with the election requirements across US, Canada, Europe (UK, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy…) and Middle East and Asia. Currently as the lead to the Accenture e-Democracy Services unit, and in my capacity as Director of Technology & Operation International, I continue to actively support the Technical and practical development of the standard and act as ambassador advising government on their technology and standards agenda. 


Charbel J. Aoun

International Director of Technology & Operation

Mobile 0044 794 925 2143

Office  0044 207 616 8414

Accenture e-Democracy Services


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