Online Voting

Topics: Elections, Voting system, Election Pages: 15 (5183 words) Published: August 7, 2013
Research Journal of Information Technology 3(2): 91-98, 2011 ISSN: 2041-3114 © Maxwell Scientific Organization, 2011 Submitted: July 22, 2011 Accepted: August 27, 2011

Published: September 30, 2011

The Design of an Electronic Voting System
G.O. Ofori-Dwumfuo and E. Paatey Methodist University College, Ghana Abstract: The aim of this study is to design an electronic voting system based upon the electoral process adopted in Ghana. In recent years, information technology has greatly affected all aspects of life, and to a large extent, this includes politics. In order to choose people to various positions different methods have been set up, with researchers continually trying to find improvement to the existing methods. The most recent method to be devised is electronic voting (e-voting). It is meant to phase out outdated paper ballot, punched cards and other mechanical voting systems with paperless electronic or online voting systems. E-voting systems endeavour to make elections simple while reducing the total cost of the election. Designing an air-tight and reliable e-voting system is therefore a great task, in that, the system that must be developed must protect the privacy of the voter, be easily understood and used by the entire voting populace - no matter who they are or where they come from. Based on this, OVIS, an On-line Voting System, has been developed. It came about as a result of the findings of a study of the electoral process of the Electoral Commission of Ghana. Key words: Electronic voting systems, Ghana electoral system, manual voting systems, voting system design INTRODUCTION One basic feature of democracy that cuts across all divides of people is the act of election. Democracy thus encourages individual freedom according to the rule of law, so that people may behave and express themselves as they choose. This not only gives people a chance to choose their leaders, but also to freely express their views on issues. In response to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which puts import on the necessity of free elections, nations aim at new and improved voting procedures which are of relevance to elections in the 21st century (Salomonsen, 2005). With the passage of time, voting, which was mainly manual, has been influenced by Information Technology, with debates arising about the relevance or not, of computerized/online voting (Shamos, 2004; Cranor, 2011). Nevertheless, it is impossible to completely rule out the need for technology and electronic voting, with the growing number of eligible voters and manual ballot papers involved (Hunter, 2001). Smith and Clark (2005) indicate that electronic voting is the next logical step in applying online information-gathering and retrieval technologies to e-government. The project for this paper evolved based on this theory. The project is to develop an Online Voting System (OVIS) based on current voting procedures in Ghana. Types of voting systems: Voting is a method by which groups of people make decisions. These decisions could be political, social or public. Voting can also be used to choose between difficult plans of actions or to decide who is best eligible to be awarded a prize. Voting can thus be defined as a process that allows a group of individuals to choose between a number of options. Most voting systems are based on the concept of majority rule or plurality. For example, in an election, a candidate with a plurality receives more votes than any other candidate, but does not necessarily receive the majority of the total votes cast. Five different types of voting systems may be identified. These are: C C C C C

Paper-Based Voting Systems Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) Voting Systems Public Network DRE Voting Systems Precinct Count Voting Systems Central Count Voting Systems

Paper-based Voting Systems (PVS): record, count, and produce a tabulation of the vote count from votes that are cast on paper cards or sheets. Some PVSs may allow...

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