The word ‘vote’ means to choose or elect someone or something from a list. It is familiar to us when we think of voting in the field of politics. Voting is done in numerous occasions like to choose leaders, or determine the best from a list of things. Some of the problems that are involved during voting are rigging, insecurity, inaccessibility, inadequate materials etc. These issues are also valid for online voting systems. A voting machine is used to register votes and tabulate all the data. Mechanical voting machines were used in the past which are now being replaced by advanced electronic devices. Anthony Beranek is known for designing the voting system used in the general elections of the United States. It worked on the principle of push button interlocking system which would restrict voters to only a single vote.
TECHNOLOGY USED OVER THE YEARS
The following voting systems have been used over the last three decades:
- Document based ballot voting machine
- Tabulated and manually marked ballots
- Electronic Input Devices
- Punched card
- Electronic ballot marker
- Optical Scanners
- Public Network Direct-recording System.
- Direct recording Voting Systems
THE ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM
It is a completely automated machine made up of electronic components that helps to count votes. It may be integrated with internet connectivity for better data transmission. The system must follow some standards which are defined by a particular regulatory body. For an automated system to be fully functional, the following requirements must be met:
- Ecological Sustainability
- Cost effectiveness
Two of the most popular Electronic voting systems are E-voting and I-voting. The former is carried out in polling stations under the supervision of Government authorities while the latter allows voters to cast votes from their home or a place where internet services are integrated. However, you must be aware of security threats. Default administration password and unpredictable errors are common amongst these machines. On the bright side, these machines can truly reduce costs and accelerate the vote-counting process.
KNOW MORE ABOUT THE VOTING SYSTEMS
Paper-based Electronic Voting System: Electronic counting of votes was first made possible by this system. With the help digital pens and punched cards, this system gained its popularity. A ballot marking system was used as an input device for users to cast their votes. Invented in 2004, the Dechert Design System was one of the best Paper-based Electronic Voting systems.
Direct Recording Electronic Voting System: It is made up of optical or mechanical components coupled with a ballot display which are activated at the time of voting. There is a separate removable memory slot where data is stored. It simultaneously tabulates the data while the voting process is on. Advanced software ensures that all the data is correctly processed.
Public Network DRE voting System: With the help of a public network, data can be transferred from one polling station to another. It is usually sent in batches during the election. Voting from remote locations is made possible by this system. It is popular amongst organizations for choosing their officers and board members.
ONLINE VOTING SYSTEMS
If you are planning to create an online poll, you must make sure that your system is well designed. Try avoiding GET methods when designing the web form to restrict anonymous voting. A third party authentication can be used to nullify all the chances of email hacks. You must set up proper verification methods to make sure that every vote is legit. They may include email verification or over-the-phone verification methods. All these tricks help to protect your system from being hacked.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Compared to traditional voting systems, online voting and automated systems surely have their advantages. You have to be extremely cautious while installing these devices to minimize any chance of malfunction. Due to security threats, a set of safety standards must be met by every voting system. In the past, manual vote counting took a lot of time and effort and was subjected to human error. Even with its flaws, the automated voting systems have truly revolutionized the whole process.