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Caracas, February 17, 2004.- The Venezuelan National Electoral Council gave its approval to the SBC Consortium for the automation of the 2004 regional elections and possible referenda in said country, after analyzing for five months the bids presented by different transnational companies.

The decision was made upon technical and functional (40% of the final result), economic (35%) and technological gain (25%) evaluations of the different bids presented. With 80.25 points over a hundred, SBC stood out over its competitors, which obtained 63.05 and 62.95 points.

SBC's proposal stood out during the selection process primarily because it is easy to audit the system and the security of its system. SBC's system allows the encrypted registration of the vote and its encrypted and automated transmission to the tabulation centers, without the possibility of registering null-and-void votes due to reading errors.

The SBC Consortium is made up by Bizta, a Venezuelan software developer; Compañia Anónima Nacional Teléfonos de Venezuela (CANTV), responsible for guaranteeing the connectivity during the electoral processes, and Smartmatic, the device-networking solutions' provider.

This consortium encompasses a work team experienced in the organization and implementation of over 60 electoral consultation processes all over the world, including the elections in Brazil (the largest ones in Latin America), Chile, Peru and Ecuador, as well as in Russia (a country with 11 time zones) and Kosovo, during the postwar period.

Economic Advantages
"An important advantage offered by the SBC Consortium lays in the transfer of our technology platform to the CNE, so that it can be used again in the subsequent electoral process ", explains Antonio Mugica, Smartmatic's CEO and SBC's official spokesperson.

According to preliminary calculations, the availability of these pieces of equipment, valued in over 50 million US dollars, should report between 25 and 30 million US dollars savings to the CNE for each electoral process. This technology prevents every possibility of, intentional or accidental, votes' manipulation.

About Smartmatic

Smartmatic is a multinational company that specializes in the design and end-to-end deployment of complex purpose-specific technology solutions. With an unsurpassed technology base, continuous innovation, and quality in processes and results, Smartmatic is organized around three business areas: Electronic voting systems, intelligent and integrated security systems for large enterprises and governments, and advanced solutions for people registration and authentication for a wide range of government applications.

Smartmatic is a privately held company with offices in the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Barbados, Spain, Philippines and Taiwan.  It has more than 200 employees worldwide.  Its capacity for innovation and wide range of products and services have earned Smartmatic extensive recognition in the technology community worldwide.

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