CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

In a true democracy, elections are the basis for the nation functions healthy. As the elections are hold frequently, the costs of voting are increasing geometrically. In order to save human resource and time, the current trend is using information technology on elections.

Recent years the issues of combining voting with information technology have developed into two directions. The former one is electronic voting (E-voting), which is voting on the particular machine in the fixed position; the latter is internet voting (I-voting), which is voting on the internet without limiting people in the polling station but needs higher level of security. Over the years, the scholars are addressed their concept of e-voting, they integrated information technology to satisfy the characteristic of election such as uniqueness, accuracy, completeness, verifiability, auditibility, privacy, and uncoercibility. But most of these researches focused on designing encryption algorithm, a usable and applicable implementation is rarely.

In our research, we design and implement a feasible system with contactless IC card for identification. Because of contactless IC card can be recycled, we can use this feature for the effective long term cost reduction. With information technology, we can simplify the traditional electoral procedures and saving the cost of human resource and time. In addition, we use the touchscreen panel to be the input interface with accessibility, and it can decrease the learning difficulty when the voters are instructed in how to use the new system.

Voting and elections are essential ingredients of modern communities. Unlike any other transactional event, the result of elections can have many positive and/or negative effects on these communities and their wellbeing. For many years, elections, in general, have suffered from declining participation rates due to the inconvenience of manual voting. Manual voting has several other drawbacks among which are inaccuracy in ballot counting and the delayed announcement of election results [Online Voting May 2001]. To overcome these drawbacks, the Electronic Voting (e-voting) technique, the use of computers or computerized equipment to cast votes in elections, has been proposed. evoting automates and simplifies the election process, speeds it up, increases participation rates, reduces counting mistakes and minimizes the time it takes to announce results.

This materials, design and implementation of a generic e-voting system capable of supporting a number of election campaigns simultaneously and permits voters to cast their votes in these elections at any time (anytime voting), from any-location (anywhere voting) and using a variety of electronic devices (any-device voting) including Web browsers, WAP-enabled [GSM World: WAP Specification Releases.] devices (Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), Smart Phones) and SMS-based [GSM World:,SMS Forum. Online], mobile phones. To avoid web content replication for each of the connecting devices, the implemented system separates the data content from its presentation form. To achieve such a separation the Extensible Markup Language (XML). [Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0. Online] is used to represent the web data content, whereas, the Extensible Style Language Transformation (XSLT) [XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 1.0. Online] style sheets are used to customize the presentation of such a content on different connecting devices, thus, achieving true “author once, publish to any device” design and implementation. To validate this concept, this paper presents the implementation of a prototype for the e-voting system in support of student elections within a university setting.

Elections, in general, can be divided into two main types, namely, political (e.g. legislative and municipal types of elections) and non-political (e.g. election of student governing body within a university, election of trade associations). Both of these election types have different security requirements. While high security is needed by political elections, a substantially less amount of security is needed by the non-political ones. Different electronic systems have been proposed in support of elections and voting, namely:

Computer Counting: this type of systems requires the voters to mark their votes on a paper with a pencil or marker or remove divots from a perforated card [Postnote: Online Voting]. The ballot cards are then scanned and tallied at a central computer site or at each polling station.

Direct-recoding electronic voting machine (DRE): this system requires voters to use a keyboard or touch screen to mark their votes on a computer terminal, directly connected to a stand-alone, polling-station-located computer [Dill, Mercuri, Neumann, Wallach feb.2003]. The votes are immediately added to a running tally stored in the computer's storage system. The final DRE tally is then moved to a central location where it is added to the tallies obtained from other DRE machines. A comparison between DRE and paper-based voting systems is presented in Ref. [ Shamos, Paper,  May 2004].

On-line Voting: this type of systems involves the use of a computer and the Internet or a private network in support of the voting process. On-line voting can be conducted in a variety of ways.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

To counter these drawbacks, Governments have proposed a number of possible methods for re-engaging the electorate in the voting process. One of these methods is the modernization of the way in which the elections are being conducted. These methods include the use of electronic voting (e-Voting) as a new and modernized way to carry out the election process. Electronic Voting extends polling hours (anytime voting) and enables casting of votes from any place (anywhere voting) using different electronic means (any device voting) such as mobile devices and Internet-based voting. In this technological age, it is imperative to explore and encourage greater use of information technology (IT) in most forms of service delivery. The ability to cast a vote through a multitude of choices such as web and mobile technologies is instantly attractive. Such facilities should also overcome constraints associated with the current voting process and engage more young voters. There is no doubt that remote electronic voting offers a convenience that would be appreciated by many people. E-voting enables citizens to participate electronically in democracy and provides them with more information about candidates and the election they are being asked to participate in.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The study sought to know the design and implementation of electronic voting system. Specifically, the study sought to;

  1. Display the result and prepare the result in a mode that is ready for electronic voting system
  2. implement electronic Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail
  3. determine how the present system can be improved upon by using electronic voting system

1.4       Research Questions

  1. What are the ways of displaying result and prepare the result in a mode that is ready for electronic voting system?
  2. What are the ways of implementing electronic Voters system as Verified Paper Audit Trail?
  3. How can the present system be improved upon by using electronic voting system?

1.5       Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.

1.6       Scope/Limitations of the Study

This study is on the design and implementation of electronic voting system.

Limitations of study

  1. Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
  2. Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.7      Definition of Terms

Design: Design is the intentional creation of a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process.

Implementation: Implementation is the realization of an application, or execution of a plan, idea, model, design, specification, standard, algorithm, or policy.

Electronic: Device or technology associated with or employing low voltage current and solid state integrated circuits or components, usually for transmission and/or processing of analog or digital data.

Voting: is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an electorate, in order to make a collective decision or express an opinion, usually following discussions, debates or election campaigns.                                                   

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