An Investigation of a Potential E-Voting System
Chapter 1- Introduction
Voting is very important to any democratic system. Voting permits the voters to select the representatives and give the power to decide how they wish to be presided over. Voting can come in many shapes and forms. To make democracy sustainable, voter's contribution is a key consideration. Apart from voters being encouraged to make this democratic right, the election that provides the functions must be believable, impermeable and free from bias.
E-Voting is now considered as a “hot” matter in many countries like Belgium, Australia, French and the UK as well. A government also grasps the view that electronic voting is modern. E-Voting technologies are still under progress in many countries. Electronic voting has demand of people's interest as being a person and modern alternative to usual elections. The beginning of electronic voting also provides an option for citizens who are ill or disabled.
The contexts of this research will describe the attractiveness of introducing a potential e-voting system that is geared towards promoting apparent, simple, scalable scheme and accountable voting.
This study will explore mainly the planning and design implications and the purpose of those relating to the implementation of a potential e-voting system. New methods may improve the election systems, increase voters numbers, resolve queuing problems, reduce costs, make simple earlier accessibility of election results, recommended more options to voters and make possible them to vote wherever they wish. The main concern of this research is not whether e-voting should be developed but rather how and in what ways e-voting should be planned and designed for successful implementation.
A theoretical overview for an introducing e-voting system will investigate the principles and key considerations methods to develop a well organized e-voting system.
This research will briefly describe an overview of the current technological and technical standards of electoral authorities as a basis of accepting e-voting system.
This research will describe a brief description of security issues relating to the principle of elections and security, security threats and attacks to e-voting such as eavesdropping, tampering and masquerading.
Relative overview of international case studies will be analysis to find out the international experiences where plans have been commenced, particularly in countries like India, Brazil and Estonia.
This research will briefly describe the field work experiments with the potential e-voting system, the methodology used to research the experiments and as well as focuses on the main findings. Finally, this research will draw some conclusions with value for a potential e-voting system.
1.2 Problem Statement
The major drawback of the e-voting is that the voter does not know what the machines record, when they cast their vote and also there is no physical proof existing for a recount or to make happy the voter of their choice. In the machines, there is no paper trail. So, if there ever a crash or virus attack occurs then it will not be possible to recover the data. Without paper trail, the chance of recreating the votes would be slim to nil. So, it has to be done again and also may increase the cost of election. This is a major drawback of e-voting system. This problem can be easily solved by implementing a RAID array. This technique will create a duplicate copy what the machines record in their memory and pass that copy into a different memory device.
Another problem of e-voting is that paper voting has earned a large amount of trust in the experience of citizens, partly due to the well organized social context. Progress in technology should not lead to problems with democratic progress in society, which may easily become the result of distrust in the election system. This problem can be avoided to develop the trust within the relation between citizens and democracy.
Accessibility is another consideration that must be thought of when e-voting is concerned. For both on-site and remote e-voting accessibility must be considered as on-site polling may not restrict voter access than traditional voting methods. Voters who are not familiar with the use of a Personal Computer (PC) or those who do not have a proper understanding of how computers work may pose some problems. This can be easily solved through proper voter education regarding voting equipment and procedures.
Another drawback of the e-voting is its security. All the tests completed on the software were automated and the hardware was not tested at all, which is quite a concern. Moreover, some software will run under a public operating system. If operating system is ever connected to the internet then operating system could be vulnerable to viruses and worms. So, hackers can easily break the system and can handle the supervisory commands. Such virus may interrupt the communication between the voter and voting system and in this way can change the vote. This problem can be avoided if use open source OS like Linux.
An additional problem of the e-voting is that the source code is not open and public has no access to the code. Thus, there have a greater chance of a partial election because programmers of the code can be corrupted, threatened, or the producer can do it in favour of themselves. This makes the system susceptible and can raise risk to the election especially if a candidate has political relation with the producer. However, this problem can be solved if the source code be released to the public.
1.3 Research Scope
The research scope of this study will be introducing the following aspects:
* This research will find out the development of an appropriate policy for a potential e-voting system.
* This research will find out the development of an operational strategy as an action plan for the implementation of the above policy.
* This research will find out detailed planning and programming of all actions concerning of a potential e-voting system.
* This research will find out voter education programme and retraining of relevant officials.
* This research will find out the development of an appropriate infrastructure and acquisition of relevant administrators.
* This research will find out an organisational exercise in order to equip the organisation to meet the new challenges.
1.4 Information Technology can Offer to the E-Voting Systems
Information technology can offer any application a wide variety of functionalities. In the perspective of an e-voting system, information technology can offer the following:
* Storing and retrieving large quantities of data.
* Communicating with higher rate and volume at lower cost.
* Tailor communications to offer people information or service according to their respective needs.
* Offer universal standards to accommodate wide span of circumstances.
* Offers powerful means based on mathematics to have accurate model for an improved knowledge of voting population. This may include simulation and statistics.
* Offers secure transactions of data which include authentication and cipher messaging.
This research will find out the essential planning and design implications for a potential e-voting system. The main concern would be to find out the ways by how e-voting should be planned and designed for successful implementation. Finally, here will be presenting some efficient methods that could be valuable for a local government of a country whoever is planning to be introduced a well-organized e-voting system.
Adequate preparation and planning for the study has been completed successfully. The information for the study has been collected from books, articles and journals, Internet websites, Independent Election Commission Reports and different News reports. The next chapter will describe the literature review for this research.
Chapter- 2 Literature Review
2.1 General Concepts of an E-Voting System
2.1.1 E-Voting Terms and Types of E-Voting
Electronic voting (e-voting) is any voting way where the voter's intention is expressed or composed by electronic means. There are two perceptions of e-voting: polling place and remote e-voting.
Polling place e-voting considers to processes where an elector cast his or her vote in a polling station or similar premises guarded by election staff. Voters mark their selection electronically (possibly on touch sensitive screen) rather than on paper ballot. The votes are counted on individual machines, known as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines, and the votes cast are transmitted to the main tallying point by undetermined means. A ballot paper can be printed and retained in confidence in a ballot box for a further check.
Remote e-voting is considered to express those systems where a voter is able to casts his or her vote at any location exterior the polling station. This could contain the use of the Internet, text message, interactive digital TV or touch tone telephone.
22.214.171.124 Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machine
The use of DRE machine within the controlled polling stations, persons could identify themselves to the system utilizing a smart card, a cd-rom or a password/PIN amalgamation. Physical transmit could complete transmit of the votes to a counting and processing place sufficiently. The voter frankly enters a favoured choice into electronic storage. The voter then press on a button or the suitable spot on the surface to record their preferences. If a voter desires to write-in an applicant, he can utilize a keyboard to type the name. The computer then saves the votes via a memory chip, smart card or diskette. An attached keyboard is given if the elector would like to write in a vote.
The benefits of the DRE machines are that it is easy to observe the software of the machine. Voting machines of DRE despite being the least reliable of e-voting systems are still heavily favoured upon because they allow physically handicapped and elderly persons to vote without further assistance from non-handicapped persons. DRE's don't issue verifiable ballots and thus are viewed as unreliable, ineffective and not that secure.
126.96.36.199 Internet Voting
Internet voting involves people casting their ballots online via a web interface but may also involve email voting. With online voting, the voter goes to the poll site using a web browser on an Internet capable PC and authenticates him or herself using a vote-id and passwords to see the corresponding empty ballot offered onscreen. The voter then fills out the ballot form and afterwards, clicks on the ‘cast vote' button to send the ended ballot back to the poll site server. Small scale use of Internet polls has been used in local elections in most European countries such as Ireland and England.
The Internet's main weakness for elections comprise its vulnerability to many kinds of attacks, which could lead to user letdown and even be open to automated buying and selling of votes. The first is to ensure that the system is not prone to attack that would interfere with the voter and the second is to provide a level of confidence as to the identification of the voter at the time of voting. Providing a multi-digit PIN numeral to voters is one technique of preventing fraud while physical identification method such as fingerprints, iris and retinal scanners could also verify one's identity when voting. This will be a significant development to make internet voting effective.
188.8.131.52 Telephone Voting
Telephone voting involves the use of landlines and mobile phone lines to vote for someone or something. Telephone voting permits people to call different telephone numbers to specify predilection for different choices or to call one number and specify a preference by pressing buttons in voice directed menu system. One major drawback of this system is its inability to identify each and every caller and it is also limited to one caller per operator at a time. A phone poll's main advantage is the relative ease of getting people to be involved and participate on it.
2.1.2 Advantages of E-Voting
The causes for introducing or considering the preface of e-voting within one or more phases of a political election or referendum can vary from country to country. Depending on the particular domestic circumstance in each country, these reasons include:
* Facilitates voters to cast their ballot from a location other than the polling place in their voting area.
* Make easy the casting of the ballot by the voter.
* Capable of preventing residual votes.
* Provides the contribution within elections and referendums of everyone those who are permitted to vote, and particularly of people residing or living abroad.
* There are also benefits when dealing with public with disabilities, such as sightlessness. E-Voting machines can offer headphones to read off directions to the blind user. Also other instruments can be added to these electronic voting machines to assist with other disabilities such as people with limited mobility or the elderly.
* Rises voter turnout by offering additional voting channels.
* Provides voting in line through new improvements in civilization and the growing use of innovative technologies as an average for communication and civil engagement in pursuit of democracy.
* Decreases the time, the overall expenditure to the election authorities of demeanour an election or referendum.
* Provides voting results persistently and more swiftly.
* Offers the electorate with a better deal in pursuit of democracy, by offering a multiplicity of voting channels.
* Offers multiple languages to users who may not have English as first language. This can be attained throughout a paper based system.
* Saves expenditure of paper ballots.
2.1.3 Electoral Requirements and Implications for E-Voting
In common terms, the accomplishment of any democratic system in the globe depends upon the trust of the voters in the system itself. Hence, any e-voting technology must address and adhere to the electoral requirements. In this consider, it is the accountability of legislative or executive bodies to set up the needs of an election procedure. They must make sure that requirements are technological and do not produce unfairness. The basic qualities should be maintained rather than treating ones. Once an appropriate set of basic system requirements are agreed upon, the disturbing vulnerabilities of the predictable elections systems will become obvious. The significance of electoral requirements is to reduce present and future risks. The following requirements are as follows:
* Accuracy: The system will record and count all votes correctly. Hence it is not possible for a valid ballot to be eliminated from the final count. Likewise, it is not possible for an invalid ballot to be included in the final count.
* Eligibility: Only authorised voters should be capable to vote.
* Uniqueness: Every voter must not be able to vote more than once.
* Electorate anonymity: No one can determine how a voter voted.
* Reliability: System should be robust without loss of any votes regardless of failures such as machine failure and network failure.
* Non-forcibility: Voters are not capable to verify to others how they voted in order to eradicate vote selling.
* Convenience: System should allow the voters to cast his ballot quickly and should not require many specialist skills.
* Mobility: The voter should not be limited to cast his vote in a single physical location. System should be available from a number of different locations.
* User-friendliness: System should be easy to use and have a user friendly interface.
* Verification: The voter should be able to confirm clearly how his vote is being cast and is given the opportunity to modify his vote before he commits it.
2.1.4 Election Stages of E-Voting System
Generally, elections are divided into number of stages. The following all the stages must be conducted digitally in order to have an all out e-voting system.
1. Voters' Registration: This is the stage where election official posses list of all eligible voters. And give each eligible voter authentication data to log into the e-voting system.
2. Validation: Voter details must be checked before permitting voter to vote. In this stage, eligibility must validate in term uniqueness also.
3. The voting and vote's saving: The voting and vote's saving is a stage where eligible voters cast votes and e-voting system saves the received votes from voters.
4. Compilation: Here all votes are gathered.
5. Tabulation: Here votes are tallied and results are announced.
2.2 Technologies Analysis
Technology is critical for election management to the conduct of current elections. Technology is used at every phase of the election procedure, for compiling voter's lists, depiction election borders, employing and educating staff, printing ballots, accomplishing voter instruction campaigns and publishing election results. The suitable application of technology to elections is able to enhance executive effectiveness, decrease long-term costs and increase political intelligibility.
Technologies utilized for elections can be old models like ball-point pens, printing pushes, electronic calculators, manual typewriters and radios, or modern technologies such as optical scanners, and the internet, computers and digital mapping. Without use to technology, the logistics of new comprehensive elections would be outside our abilities.
The intricacy of technology utilized for elections about the world varies extremely. The speed of technological change is so rapid that the election management must frequently re-evaluate their use of technology to decide whether they should approve new or modernized technology to develop their performance.
2.2.1 Technologies Relating to Electoral Appliances
Elections are intricate, many-faceted dealings. To arrange and run an election, substance has to be designed, bought, stored, spread and returned; human resources have to be employed, trained, deployed and salaried; ballots have to be intended, printed/manufactured, extend, utilized by voters, returned, calculated, tabulated and accounted; voters have to be educated, trained and encouraged; nominees must contribute their parts; the media have to be stayed informed; and so on.
Technology is capable to be utilized to aid all these different features for the election management. As these errands vary broadly in scope and nature, a broad choice of technologies has election appliances. In the following the major types of technology with election appliances are:
184.108.40.206 Voting Systems
There are a number of different types of e-voting technologies. Those technologies are developed particularly for election intentions. Electronic voting is utilized extensively in India, Brazil, Estonia, and the USA.
The major types of e-voting systems are:
* Kiosk-style electronic machine voting systems
* EVM machines voting systems
* Punch card voting systems
* Direct recording electronic systems
* Mechanical voting systems
* Machine readable (optical scanning) voting systems
* Vote counting server voting systems
220.127.116.11 Scanning Systems for Electoral Purposes
Electronic scanning techniques are applied to exchange data marked actually on paper into electronic form. Though scanning is regularly used to capture voting data, such as records of electors who have voted or facts showed on forms.
There are three major types of optical scanning technologies:
* Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) systems
* Optical Mark Reading (OMR) systems
* Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems
18.104.22.168 Identification Systems for Electoral Purposes
There are some phases in the election procedure when a need arises to consistently identify a person. The clear phase is when a person votes, but detection systems may also be required when a person registers to vote, or else where a worker requires access to a place of work or a computer system. As e-voting becomes more extensive and more automated, mostly where voting is initiated on the internet or by telephone, detection systems become critical to ensure that only appropriate voters are capable to vote when they are entitled to.
There are many different types of identification systems are:
* Bio-detection systems (comprising hand, voice, retinal, finger/thumb detection systems)
* Personal Identity Numbers (PINs)
* Digitised photography
* Identity cards
* Public Key Infrastructure/Electronic signatures
22.214.171.124 Internet for Electoral Purposes
The internet is world-wide system of computers accessible by everyone with the essential technology can be utilized for electoral appliances of the internet contain:
* Voter register
* Circulating information for voters, nominees, the media and other customers
* Election results publishing
* In-house intranets
126.96.36.199 Communications for Electoral Purposes
Communications are important to accomplish of modern elections. In order to arrange and run an election, a variety of communication processes need to be used. Data, voice, images and documents all are able to pass on electronically. The technology utilized for these intentions ranges from tried and comparatively simple ones, such as the telephone or radio, to newer, more exclusive ones, such as microware or satellite transmissions.
Some of the electronic transmissions methods utilized for electoral appliances are:
* Satellite systems
* Radio systems
* Television systems
* Telecommunication systems (phone/fax/cable/internet/intranet/data lines)
* Microwave systems
188.8.131.52 Geographic Information Systems for Election Purposes
Geographic Information Systems (GISs) are computerised procedures for storing, manipulating and showing geographic data, mostly maps and data through an address component, such as voter registration data, voting statistics and demographic resident's data. Some electoral appliances of GISs include:
* Determining election boundaries
* Producing maps
* Registering voters
* Election planning
* Displaying election results
184.108.40.206 Specialised Electronic/Mechanical Devices for Electoral Purposes
In addition to modern computers and e-voting procedures, there is a broad range of specific electronic/mechanical devices that can be utilized for electoral purposes. These include:
* Letter starters
* Slide projectors
* Counting machines
* Electronic whiteboards
* Sticker printers
* Mail adding machines
* Automatic numbering machines
2.2.2 Recommended Steps for the Election Management to Get Advantage from the Use of Technology
Progressively more, technology is the most important resources for election organization. It needs to be accurately handled in order to meet the organisation's goals in an effective way.
The Election management can follow the below procedures to advantage from the use of technology:
* Conduct complete necessitates assessment examines to identify the essential surroundings, processes, regulations and tasks.
* Prepare a proper plan with a cost approximation and a benefits/risk investigation.
* Safe the financing crucial to obtain and sustain the selected technology.
* Acquire sufficient staff with technical proficiency.
* Safe transmission, warehousing and allocation of equipment, if appropriate.
* Make sure adequate testing processes before any technology is implemented.
* Execute appropriate security actions.
* Produce an education plan for staff and user training.
* Create suitable maintenance and backup processes are in place.
* Provide users access to an assist desk.
* Provide an enough deliver of peripherals and consumables materials, if appropriate.
* Prepare sufficient replacement plans and processes for equipment that can become outmoded.
The significance of elections and the need for correctness, security and transparency, the election management needs to state high standards. The following issues cover the main factors associated to managing technology to get advantage from the use of technology in the election surroundings. Checklists can be developed to find out the main concerns for the election management that make possible a successful election event.
* Expansion and Planning Strategies
* Quality Guarantee
* Management Constitution
* Computer Systems
* Recruitment, Training and Maintain
* Running Obsolescence
* Evaluation and Review
2.2.3 Minimizing Threats in Using Technology
The exploit of technology for any intention may involve serious threats for its clients. In the consideration of the election management, a technical or technological failure may impact seriously on a society, an area or the whole country. This denotes that while it is all the time vital to discover ways to reduce the impact of technology faults, for the election management and particularly for voting operations it may be critical.
Ways to minimise the threats in utilizing technology for election intentions include:
* Following systems authentication, testing and preservation processes to make sure that hardware, transportation and software manage efficiently.
* Make sure that the technology is actually safe, preventing unintended harm or illegal access.
* Executing data gathering processes and methodologies that make sure that data is composed and verified consistently.
* Arranging suitable election staff training
* Make sure that data and computer programs are protected, including the exploit of encrypting methods to prevent illegal access.
* Placing the data back up processes including consistent data storage and restoring.
* Offering manual eventuality systems
* Providing auditing code and defending computer software against computer viruses.
* Captivating out proper insurance measures to protection against financial or material loss.
* Creating in performance guards to make sure that staff and exterior suppliers have a direct attention in the successful achievement of an assignment, such as performance bonds, pay supplements or prosecution clauses.
* Implementing public assertion measures to make happy stakeholders that the technology is trustworthy and transparent throughout public logic and correctness tests, making software code accessible for scrutiny and conducting voter information crusades.
* Adopting and imposing privacy policies to make sure that personal and secret data is kept safe, while also guaranteeing that suitable public information is readily accessible.
One of the most significant techniques to minimise the threats in using technology is to make sure that the technology is protected. This includes Physical Protection, Data Access Protection, Software Protection and Virus Protection.
2.3 Security Analysis
2.3.1 Principles of Elections and Security
The institution and ways of believable elections claim adherence to principles and rights, which in exercise, impose considerable challenges for the election management to ensuring efficient security, including:
* Transparency refers that the stages of an election procedure be well advertised to the municipal.
* Elections should be held in agreement with national laws that typically create immutable timeframes.
* Liberty of speech and alliance can generate a politically-charged environment which may polarise societies.
* The institutions accountable for the election management and security of an election must complete their mandates neutrally, and may be controlled by the need to shun perceptions that they are supporting a particular political challenger.
* Inclusiveness needs that an election be an extremely decentralised operation, with huge logistical requirements relating to the staffing of tens of thousands of provisional staff, and the function of polling places and offices.
To work effectively within these election considers, security services require to be instructed by their own principles, comprising:
220.127.116.11 Impartial and Rights-based
Contributors in an election should be treated in an impartial way by both security services and the election officials. Logical and proportionate responses to activities must be stable, which cannot be partial by arbitrary issues, such as, political association. An election is a system by which people are capable to implement their political, national and human rights. Security protocols should consider and admit these rights, as well as the sharp sensitivity and scrutiny to the admiration for these rights that arise during an election time.
18.104.22.168 National Possession
Elections are a sovereign procedure. However, in some conditions such as, post inconsistency or transitional elections, nationalized security services may require to be strengthened by global forces. To the degree allowed, the security of an election should drop within the possession and manage of a national authority to imitate sovereignty and shun allegations of global interference. Beneficially, indigenous security services are the most responsive to their cultural exercises and may therefore be greatest located to interpret and reply to emerging intimidation.
Elections are usually planned 18 to 24 months prior to polling day and happen as a widely spread exercise requiring important planning and preparatory actions. Security services (police and/or military) not often have enough standing possessions to safe an election, and concurrently carry-out their usual duties. Incorporated strategic planning by the election management is necessary to prioritise, assign and coordinate essential assets.
22.214.171.124 Non-partisan and Neutral
To be efficient, security services must shun allegations of supporter bias. If security services are started to behave in a partisan manner, rather than defusing stresses they may intensify them and undermine their individual role in the procedure. During the election time (particularly during the campaign time) normal security events may befall the subject of scrutiny which evokes political measurements. In politics in common, and in elections in meticulous, perception is as imperative as realism. As such, the election management must strongly consider these political measurements to reserve not only the realism, but the perception of neutrality.
126.96.36.199 Flexible and Proficient
Election procedures can face late-phase modifications to accommodate emerging legal, functioning or political situations that arise. In the first case, security planning should comprise a range of emergency plans and resources to make sure suppleness. Alternatively, obviously defined constraints on security abilities and resources based on professional planning should be accessible to inform decision producers on the range of choices that are practicable to accommodate. The effectiveness of these functions, both in sending substantive security forces and regulating to changes, is a significant indicator for the assurance of the election contributors.
188.8.131.52 Transparent and Responsible
In security procedures there is always a stress between operational security strategies of ‘need to know' and the civic concern. In an election time, disclosure policies are usually best weighted towards the civic interest, recognising the significance and value of transparency. In consider where it is essential to protect information, additional responsibility measures may be required to make sure post-event validations. Clearness in this circumstance also refers to increasing consultative systems with political groups, public society and other organisations to make sure the role and functions of security services are well understood in the procedure.
This aspect of the election procedure highlights the potential dissatisfactions that can occur between security and election officials. Eventually, a functioning solution cannot be measured advantageous if it does not address the essential political situations. This argument emphasizes the need for highly contact and coordination between security services and election institutions.
2.3.2 Security Threats and Attacks to E-Voting
Any e-voting system is vulnerable to a number of threats and attacks which must be contained effectively to maintain its overall integrity. The following are some generic viable attacks which an electronic voting system is subjected to:
* Eavesdropping: An attacker can disclose the content of the ballot.
* Tampering: An attacker can intercept and modify the content of the ballot.
* Masquerading: An attacker can impersonate a voter and hence can take part in election under false identity.
* Denial of service: An attacker can flood a channel with a junk ballot.
* Repudiation: An attacker can deny the ballot he or she has previously committed.
When analysing and developing a security mechanism for any type of system it is imperative to assume the worst. The assumption may include:
* Network channels are insecure.
* Attacker may have big resources at their disposal such as CPU power and storage.
* Attacker may have knowledge of algorithms used to secure the base system.
* Users can make mistakes and software can have bugs or faults.
However, empirical studies have shown that these attacks can be combated by the utilisation of a number of methods. The methods include:
* Encryption for eavesdropping.
* Message digest and digital signature for tampering.
* Passwords and digital signature for masquerading.
* Nonce and timestamp for replay attacks.
2.4 Comparative International Case Studies
The comparative international case studies will focus on selected international experiences in e-voting. Estonia has been chosen because of the highly developed nature of their e-voting system and altogether is a very successful country in remote electronic voting. Brazil and India are also good example of successful countries in e-voting as a Third World country with a large population and rustic dynamics.
Concentration will be specified to achievements from which lessons can be learnt and negative experiences to be shunned. The main aim of international case studies is to draw lessons of experience for an introducing e-voting system. Moreover, lessons learned from the case studies will also investigate the mistakes that should be avoided in planning for a potential e-voting system.
2.4.2 E-Voting in Estonia
Estonia built their e-voting system on the ID card of Estonian. For everyone, the card is a standard and compulsory national identity accomplishment as well as a smart card permitting for both protected remote authentication and lawfully compulsory digital signatures by using the Estonian country supported public key infrastructure. The aim of "one person, one vote" is continued as the voter can prospectively cast their vote more than one ballot but finally only a single vote will be count. Voting is accessible from an early voting period of sixth day to fourth day before the Election Day. Voters are allowed to modify their electronic votes a limitless number of times and the final vote only being tabulated but it is not possible to amend or cancel the electronic vote on the Election Day. But there also have an option for anyone who votes over the Internet to vote at a polling station through the early voting phase, invalidating their Internet vote. Estonia followed the implementation of their e-voting system in agreement with the commendations of the Council of Europe.
184.108.40.206 Plan and Design of Remote E-Voting System
In 2001, Estonia started the developing plan on remote e-voting system. In 2002, the legal requirements for it were put in place. The National Election Committee began the e-voting project throughout summer 2003. The system contains the use of smart cards and electronic signatures. In January 2005, the first tests were held for the remote e-voting system. A longer preparation phase preceded this project. At this phase, both the lawful basics and the required infrastructure basics were produced earlier by law versions. Short time latter, they issued more than 700,000 ID cards for the voter identification in nationwide. Overall, 13.7% of the voting participants were attended to vote via internet. The project succeeded without conflicts and technical problems.
After finish the successful pilot project in Tallinn, at last an e-voting system was offered countrywide for the first time in the local elections of Estonia by October 2005. In March 2007, the national election held in Estonia where a total of 30,275 citizens participated remote e-voting and also was accessible to Estonian voters of abroad. In the 2009 local municipal elections, 104,415 voters were participated over the Internet. This means that approximately 95% voters were attended to votes over the internet.
220.127.116.11 Processes of E-Voting System
Voter Application and Network Server are the main components of Estonian e-voting system. Votes Storing and Votes Counting Server are used for Back-office.
Voter Application is a web based application. The encryption and verification constructed into the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol prevent the communication between voters and Network Server. Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems are able to run the Estonian e-voting system. But Microsoft Internet Explorer is required for the Windows operating system. The public key PK of e-voting is built-in into Voting Application.
The procedures of Network Server are verification, the examining of franchise, transferring a candidates' list to voters, accepting signed and encrypted ballots. Network Server straight away transmits the received encrypted ballots to Votes Storing Server and exchanges the acknowledgements of receipt from Votes Storing Server to voters. Network Server completes the work when the period of e-voting finishes.
Votes Storing Server accepts encrypted ballots from Network Server and stores those until the end of the voting phase. For managing and cancelling Votes, Votes Storing Server is responsible.
Counting Server is used as an offline server, which recapitulates all encrypted ballots. In addition, e-voting system contains independent log files which outline the received encrypted ballots from Network Server. The log files contain all the records are linked by using cryptographic protocol. The election committee has the power to access the log files for resolving disputes.
Pros of this system include:
* There have option for every eligible voter to revote. In this case the previous votes will be deleted.
* If substantial attacks occur against e-voting system, Election Committee have right stop e-voting and annul the result of voting.
* Provide an essential equally accessible convenience in an information society.
* Voting is permitted during the period earlier of Voting Day.
* Classical voting in polling box annuls the voters' e-votes.
* Every citizen is competent enough to participate in decision-making.
* Citizens are able to complete the vote in 2 minutes at home or workplace.
* Manual re-voting is permitted if vote is cast in paper for the period of absence voting days, e-votes will be invalidated.
* There have no third party controlled authentication mechanisms or services.
* No components without source code and all completely documented.
* Crumple course for observers, politicians and auditors.
* All security crucial events: Logged, Audited, observed and Videotaped.
* All main IS-experts concerned in network-monitoring 24/7 for dDOS or Trojans.
Cons of this system include:
* Non-encrypted ballots are used in e-voting server.
* There have no independent log files system to inspect the accuracy of the procedures of e-voting servers.
* Vote counting server is keep stay in online and also contains the votes with the names of voters.
* There have no option for voters to sign the ballots.
Estonia acquires up a clear establishing role in the operation and the application of e-voting system within the European circumstances. In the European Union, it is the first country which makes the voting system via internet in parliamentary elections and also proved that it was legally possible. It was possible because most Estonians bear a national identity card which has a computer-readable microchip and these cards allow the Estonians to access the online ballots. The entire of a voter only requires a computer, an electronic card reader, their ID card and its PIN then they are able to vote from everywhere in the globe. Estonians are allowed to cast their e-votes only the days of advance voting. If anyone wants to give the vote on Election Day then he/she has to go polling stations and fill up in a paper ballot. After the municipal elections of 2005, the electronic voting system contained up the test of actuality and was recognized a success by Estonian election officials. The election authorities of Estonia took a regular course without any major technical troubles. So, Estonia is a best example to developed a successful e-voting system in nationwide.
2.4.3 E-Voting in Brazil
The e-voting system of Brazil is broadly trusted by the population of the country and international observers. It has an effective and consistent mechanism of generating elections results that perfectly represent the choices of the electorate. In a country with population of over 110 million and voters spread over 3200 election constituencies, Brazil had the daunting task of ensuring the integrity of the federal, state and municipal election. In the election of October 2002, two million staffs were worked to operate 360,000 kiosk-style electronic machines that tallied the results electronically in minutes after the polls closed. Data was transmitted on protected diskettes or via satellite receiver to central tallying stations, where the results were calculated within hours. In that election, only 1% of polling stations faced the problems with the new technology.
Their aim was to implement an information technology platform that could provide a method for every electorate to vote irrespective of their literacy level, health status and location. Moreover, such a system would be obliged to defend against fraud and address the conventional problem of slow tabulation and result announcement.
18.104.22.168 Plan and Design of an E-Voting System
At the beginning of 1995, The World Bank was funded to the TSE to produce a task force comprising staff from the TSE and the TREs. The purposes of the task force were to stop fraud and to make a strength political participation and inclusion by simplifying the voting system. The previous system was complex where people required finding out the candidate names from a list and also they need to write their name on the ballot paper, but the level of uneducated people in Brazil was very high. It was about 30% of the population. The aim of produce this task force not only to improve the user friendliness of the interface (the ballot paper), but also the knowledge-base required to participate to the process.
Later than six months, the task force represented a proposal for the expansion of a computerized ballot box and called technical experts from Federal ministries to contribute in defining the system's technical desires and qualifications. In September 1995, system's development work was being started by a group of fourteen technical experts and in May 1996, the first copy of the electronic voting machine was released.
In October 1996, first time the machine was tested in the Municipal elections. This test involved all cities and all state capitals with involvement more than 200,000 voters, acquiring 33% of the voters. In general election of 1998, a second test was run for the system. This test involved all cities and all state capitals with involvement more than 400,000 voters, acquiring 67% of the voters. Finally, in the municipal elections of 2000, the system was used for the whole country.
22.214.171.124 Machine Requirements
An e-voting platform encompassing hardware, software and systems integration was implemented. It essentially provided electorate electronic ballot boxes to securely and accurately cast their votes. The voting machine has a very easy interface, including a clear presentation of voting options, affirmation and rejection choices, pictures of applicants and Braille coding on the buttons to safe universal access for illiterate and blind people.
The voting machine contains two terminals that were installed in each polling station. First one is the voting panel agent terminal has an arithmetical keyboard with a two shapes liquid crystal screen. It is used by the voting panel agent to find a voter's identification number. If he or she is registered in the precinct, his or her name is shown on the screen and the identification is accomplished. The voting panel agent checks the status of the voting machine on the screen and, if available, pushes ‘enter' to turn the machine on the ready state. The second one is the voters' terminal. When the voter goes into the booth, the machine must be ready to use. The voter terminal also has one keyboard and a liquid crystal display. The voter finds out his or her preference by inserting their candidate detection number. The screen displays the candidate's name, initials of the party or alliance he or she belongs to and his or her photo, and if these are accurate, voters push enter to confirm. The keyboard has two supplementary keys: the first on is the amendment key that permits voters to start the process again and the second one is the blank vote key that allows the voter to leave him or her vote blank.
126.96.36.199 Voter's Biometric Identification
The advancement of technology, Brazil starts biometric ballot boxes that procedure the vote throughout the voter's biometric recognition. In 2008 elections, the new technology has been started to use. The Brazilian Election Justice's aim is to offer Brazilian citizens with a securest prospect for democracy and to escort Brazil into the technological advance guard of election processes in the whole world.
Throughout this system, the country will not only achieve the largely computerized voting, but also the securest one, since there will not anymore be any suspicions about the voter's identity. For a better understanding on the concentration of security accomplished, one should memorize that one fingerprint is sufficient to identify a person.
For any unexpected problems in case, if the voting board agent has any suspicions about the voter, or their fingerprint is not accepted by the biometric system, the agent has a record with the photographs of the entire voters of that part, where they can validate the voter's identity.
The aim of this biometric registration is to reduce the opportunity of someone taking someone else's position to vote, making it almost unattainable for frauds to be committed in the voting process.
Pros of this system include:
* Enhanced transparency of the election process. The totally electronic form of the votes precludes resorting to the counting of votes recorded on paper in case there is a dispute.
* Accurate tabulation of votes and prompt knowledge of return.
* Quicker process of tabulation and announcement of results.
* Reduces voter error which helps to eliminate spoilt or blank votes.
* Consistent and verifiable data.
* Cost effective system.
* Allow remote election such as in embassies in overseas countries.
Cons of this system include:
* Only partial parts of source code accessible to political parties for examination. Some machines use commercial operating systems that are a meticulous cause of concern.
* Lack of testing for the systems performance by the representatives of political parties and other who is interested individually.
* Storing data in floppy disk is a potential risk.
* Screens used are monochromes which are not suitable for people with weak eyesight.
* System is not cohesive as different systems are utilised in different regions.
* The use of numbers to select candidates will be impractical especially if there a lot of numbers to use.
Brazil has built-up the most modern and complicated electronic voting system in the world and has proved that it can work in a country of continental size, using low-cost technology. The electronic voting system of Brazil has a number of virtues that gave the electronic voting system reliability. The quick and un-crowded voting familiarity created a relaxed and almost festive atmosphere at the voting stations. To teach their children, many parents brought their young children with them to the voting booth and show them how they used the machine. Now a day, the judges were not spending time at voting stations to supervising the vote. Instead of that, they are giving the attention to other potential types of election fraud, like as political parties manipulating the voting selections at the locality of the voting stations.
Brazil is delivering the most computerized elections in the world that made an attraction to the continental dimensions of neighbour countries like Paraguay, Argentina, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Mexico. They made agreements with the TSE to utilize the electronic voting system for using their elections. The most considerable case is Paraguay where about half voters of the Paraguayan used the electronic voting system of Brazil in 2007. Throughout the Presidential election of that country in April 2008, its electorate was capable for 100% to utilize the technology of the Brazilian electronic voting system.
2.4.4 E-Voting in India
Being the world's biggest democracy with an inhabitant exceeding a 1 billion people, India is another country which faces demanding election logistics. This is mainly due to the large population, the large number of polling stations and polling staff required, and the big number of candidates in first-past-the-post districts. In November 1998, India introduced EVMs and extended their use countrywide in 2004. India used the EVMs with 60 million voters in the parliamentary elections of 1999. In 1999 election, more than 95 per cent voters accepted the use of EVMs. The Indian Election Commission showed the success throughout substantial training and consciousness campaigns. That was a great innovation for Indian Election Commission and received well response from parties, staff, candidates and people.
188.8.131.52 Machine Requirements
The Indian EVM (electronic voting machine) is comprised of two elements which are the control unit and ballot unit. The two elements are connected via a five meter cable. The EVM control unit is with the polling officer and the balloting unit is located inside the voting booth. In order to give an electorate access to the voting booth, the polling officer in handle of the control unit will have to press the ballot button. Once an electorate is permitted access, he or she can cast their votes by pressing the green button against the candidate of their choice. A light has next to the button flashes followed by short beep to indicate that the vote has been submitted safely. Finally, the polling officer presses a switch to clear the machine for the next voter.
A notable feature of the EVM is that can be used in rural areas where is no electricity. Without power connection, they are able to run on a regular 6 volt alkaline battery.
184.108.40.206 Modernization of the Election Processes
The Election Commission has enthusiastically and effectively developed the application of information technology for elections as a way of managing the massive scale of elections in India. ECI provided to every registered voter a photographic ID card that enables him/her to vote liberally, and at the same time to stop fraudulent and multiple voting. ECI also provided the election registers copies to the political parties on CD-ROM for checking and gave the permission to use it on Election Day. By using the advantages of technology, results of the count are processed instantly at over 400 vote-counting centres and prepared results quickly. One more technological modernization was to utilize the EVMs at all polling stations. In 2004 election, ECI made the results within hours of count starting. Only that was possible because EVMs were used at all polling stations.
220.127.116.11 Success Story of Indian E-Voting System
India has broken a record in history, as it was the first time that the country held countrywide e-voting. From 20 April to 10 May 2004, the Indian federal and state elections were held. The ECI considered that event as the enormous election procedure and also was the largest experiment ever for e-voting technologies. More than 1 million EVMs installed all over the country in the election of 2004. However, technology was positioned to some in barren regions, remote top of hills and Himalayan valleys. For example, 10 days of rain occurred flash flooding and some of the polling stations were flooded in the north eastern state of Asam. Instead of these volatile natural adversities and unexpected human error, the ECI generally considered the elections a big success.
India's Chief Election Commissioner said, “In the past elections, counting used to take many days but the new system has allowed the results to be announced in just three to four hours.”
Moreover, many countries have exposed their attention to buy the EVM from India including Australia, South Africa, Mauritius and Singapore.
Pros of this system include:
* Cost reduction as paper ballot does not need to be produced, printed, transported and stored. Moreover, considerable reduction in staff, such as counting staff and election officials, add to the limitation of cost.
* Easier to distributed and transport EVM in comparison to ballots boxes since EVM are lighter and portable.
* Tabulation is carried out quickly as results are announced within 2 to 3 hours in comparison to 30 to 40 hours under manual paper ballots.
* Since illiteracy is considerable amongst the Indian population, EVM appears to be more fitting as voters need to simply push the blue button against the applicant of his or her choice and the vote is submitted. Whereas under the paper ballot system, the voter had to place a voting stamp on the sign of the applicant of his or her choice. Then fold it vertically and horizontally and finally place it in the ballot box.
* Ballot stuffing is greatly decreased as the EVM is programmed to record five votes a minute which can frustrate bogus voter. But under paper ballot system, a false voter is able to stuff thousand of votes in the ballot box.
* The control part can save the result in its memory for more than 10 years.
* Spoilt blank votes can be avoided under EVM. When the paper ballot system was in place, the number of spoilt or blank votes was greater than the winning margin in India.
Cons of this system include:
* Candidates can identify electorate from which polling station voted for him or her and people from which did not. This was clearly apparent in the Indian 2004 general election. A possible way to combat this drawback was mix system of counting machine by feeding votes in every EVM into a centralised counting machine.
India has proved that it is achievable to use new technology on a large scale to earn election results very fast. Electronic voting system of India also serves the voter by giving the polling procedure easier and more apparent because they have a number of user-friendly features. The e-voting system of India has some virtues that give the voters the option to cast their vote within an election region other than the assigned one, and easy for uneducated people and visually impaired voters to use.
This research has learnt that e-voting requirements to be accepted before it is implemented as the task team of that country. The desired type of voting system must be selected when planning for e-voting. Estonia selected to use remote electronic voting and also giving the same access for abroad Estonian. Brazil has selected to use both kiosk-style electronic machines and Internet Voting in particular to accommodate people who do not have access to the kiosk machine specially the abroad people. India has selected EVMs. Any developing country can use this type of system because of its facilities. This system is very simplistic and reliable and also can use in any rural area.
On the above lessons of experience from different countries e-voting systems have shown concerning the massive role of modern technology and mostly the role of e-voting in modern society.
2.5 Planning Principles for a Potential E-Voting System
It has been proved by plenteous evidences that planning is the most prominent and persistent of the management functions or procedures. Planning is important because of the proof of failure in organizations are responsible for poor planning. Planning is the preparation for the prospect on management's ingredient. Planning is essential in that it cuts throughout all management purposes and is a function that is appropriate to all managerial levels.
Planning is involved in various management operations of arranging, controlling, recruitment, directing, and choice making in the logic that it is a critical and essential component of every of these procedures. Planning is appropriate to each managerial level as managerial deed and decision making, whether at the principal executive's stage or at the first-line supervisor's stage, should preferably be predicated upon initial thought and expectation of future concerns, problems, or details that continually come to play in the procedure of making organizations work.
Planning is a procedure of thinking throughout all surfaces of an issue or a crisis before taking deed. At the similar time, it offers the ingredients for action. Planning is a procedure that involves in an appraisal of the organization, its capital, and its environment and includes the setting of objectives. By using that appraisal as a background, planning entails to find out the past, the present, and the future.
This study investigates accomplishment aspects, software choose steps, and execution events critical to a successful implementation of a potential e-voting system so as to contribute to basic research necessary for such actions by the designated authorities. In particular, implications on important planning principles provide a basis to election management for the planning and design of an e-voting system. Lessons of experience in planning with management issues identify important areas for a potential e-voting system. The following debate will offer to election management a brief overview of experiences concerning different approaches to planning for the purpose of understanding the nature of the planning and designing of a potential e-voting system.
2.5.2 Different Planning Initiatives for a Potential E-Voting System
18.104.22.168 Strategic Planning
According to the public sector circumstance, strategic management is described as the complete set of the managerial decisions and actions in shaping the presentation of the organizations in the long run in relation to the government's vision. Strategic management presents to the complete procedure that comprises visioning, strategic planning and strategic objective setting.
Producing a strategic plan is the primary phase for election management for a potential e-voting system in focusing the functions of a set of approved objectives based on its legally identified responsibilities. The strategic plan can be used to an e-voting system's boundary with its external surroundings mostly its stakeholders and basic decisions for election management in different service criterions.
The strategic plan exploits to election management to make the primary decisions for a potential e-voting system like for its operational planning and precedence, its resource distribution, its agreement standards, a proposal for service, organisational reinforcement, integration and enhancement. The strategic plan is an appliance that is useful for the election management to work with a high level of performance and to accomplish good customer contentment for an e-voting system. The strategic plan is also essentials for the election management to understand its changing surroundings.
The strategic plan can be used as a public document for an e-voting system that contains a record of what the election management places for, what it performs and why, and what it aim to attain. The strategic plan can create a road map for a potential e-voting system that gives the direction and inspiration to the election management for an identified period of years and also provides a significant role as an indicator against which the e-voting system's performance can be considered by its stakeholders. A strategic plan is not only used as a document set in tangible but also it is a realistic strategic guide for the election management and must clearly provides if considerable changes in the external or internal surroundings need a revised strategy. An election management without a strategic plan is similar to a pilot without a compass.
The strategic plan can promote a vision for the election management to make as an open, democratic, and responsible institution. To do so, it must be steady with the election mandate and implemented the structure of the institution with the election law. It takes all known issues which could affect the e-voting system's performance such as the regulatory surroundings, technology, probability of conflict, stakeholder contribution or voter apathy and government dealings.
The purpose of strategic plan is to develop election management's task for an e-voting system for the future while considering the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). It is very prudent for any organization to set its vision, mission, strategic objectives and priorities. This put the organization at ease in translating its policies and resources into action plans and budgets. Identifying the background elements for a potential e-voting system on which the proposed resu
If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal: