The term electronic voting is a blanket term used to describe an array of voting methods that operate using electronic technology. Electronic-Voting (also known as Biometric Voting) is the use of computer-based machine to display an election ballot and record the vote. E-voting machines typically use touch screens as the data entry method for a voter's selection. E-voting is different from online voting, where users vote over the Internet. Under the e-voting system, polling stations would be equipped with e-voting machines which are also known as Direct-Recording Electronic voting systems (DRE). The voter is required to touch the icon next to the intended party's symbol, on the screen, which would then be registered on paper and a receipt would be printed. The voter would then drop the receipt into a secured container for storage until the count. Machine counting requires voters to punch a hole in their ballot which is then scanned and counted by a central computer. Computer voting or direct-recording electronic voting machines involve the use of either a keyboard, touch screen or some kind of pen or pointer and computer terminal and are immediately factored into the tally of votes (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, 2001). 1.2 TYPES OF ELECTRONIC VOTING
There are three primary types of electronic voting namely
1) Machine counting
2) computer voting and
3) on-line or Internet voting
With respect to the last of these types, there are four kinds of electronic voting that use the Internet; these include kiosk Internet voting, polling place Internet voting, precinct Internet voting and remote Internet voting (Alvarez and Hall, 2004). Kiosk Internet voting typically involves the use of a computer at a specific location that is controlled by election officials. This differs from electronic machine voting because, among other things, the ballot is cast over the Internet. Polling place Internet voting is conducted at any polling station through the use of a computer that is controlled by election representatives. Precinct Internet voting is analogous to polling place voting except that it must occur at the voter's designated precinct polling place (Alvarez and Hall, 2004). Remote Internet voting is a voting by Internet from a voter's home or potentially any other location with Internet access. 1.3 BENEFIT AND RISK OF E- VOTING/INTERNET VOTING
This section state the benefits and risks associated with Internet voting in general, primarily concentrating on remote Internet voting. This is because, in the first place, in most of the literature addressing electronic voting the term 'Internet voting' has become synonymous with remote Internet voting and is addressed as such (Mercurio, 2004). The remote Internet voting has the greatest potential to positively impact accessibility for voters. Internet voting machines that are either located at a polling station or another central location still require electors to travel to the poll or location. While in some cases travel to a central location such as supermarket may be convenient, their use still requires additional effort that voting from home or work does not. Finally, remote Internet voting is most consistent with the development of other political aspects of society that have changed with technology. While kiosks and machines can be useful, people are now using home computers to conduct more transactions than ever before and this will only increase in the next decade.
1.4 VIEWS OF THE NIGERIA COMPUTER SOCIETY ON E-VOTING SYSTEM The President of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) Prof. Charles Uwadia has said that: E-voting system is feasible in the 2011 general elections with strong political will. Prof. Charles while addressing the IT Journalist in Lagos ahead of the follow-up retreat between Nigeria Computer Society and Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) Held in November, 2008. He listed conditions for deploying a...
References: Electronic voting: Boon or bane? (2001, March 31)
Electronic voting, Singapore. (2001, March 27)
vanguard news paper 23rd June, 2009
Source of information: Internet
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