Electronic Voting Research Paper

Topics: Electronic voting, Voting system, DRE voting machine Pages: 5 (1716 words) Published: May 3, 2013
Electronic Voting

Voting is the main way for citizens to translate their preferences to seats in legislature. Therefore, it is critical and extremely important for a democratic republican country like the United States to have a well organized voting system. The history of voting could be traced back to the 17th century colonial days when shouting and the show of hands would be an indication of casting votes. This method often led to chaos, fraud, repeat votes or over voting of election candidates. To reduce such loopholes, it was soon replaced by paper ballots in the 1770’s then electronic voting in the 1890’s. The change in the voting system over time emphasized certain criteria that a “good” voting system must accomplish. It must provide fast results. The anonymity of voters must be preserved in order to protect voters from malevolent candidates. Regardless of age, sex, infirmity or disability, a good voting system must be simple and usable. Electronic voting (e-voting) fulfills those requirements. Such benefits are followed by flaws and weaknesses that expose the system to threats and technical difficulties, ranging from system failure to altering results by hacking. The following background and arguing facts will expose the pros and cons of electronic voting in its developmental stage and whether it is trustworthy for measuring vote count. Background

Electronic voting system refers to the use of electronic means for casting votes and counting votes. So, what are electronic voting machines? Electronic voting technology includes punched cards, optical scan voting systems, and specialized voting kiosks, for example, direct-recording electronic voting systems, or DRE. The transmission of ballots and votes can be done via telephones, private computer networks, or the Internet. People have many accesses to e-voting. In general, there are two main ways. They could use the voting machines at the polling stations or they could vote through remote e-voting whether voting is performed within the voter’s sole influence through mobile devices or the internet (Wikipedia). Polling stations tend to be physically supervised by representatives of government or private constitutional authority, unlike remote e-voting which people can vote in their own private and comfortable space. Direct-recording electronic systems (DRE) completely eliminate paper ballots from the voting process (Kohno, Stubblefield, Rubin, Wallach; 2004). Generally, voters come to polling stations with an ID to prove that they are eligible for voting. They are then provided with a pin number or a smartcard that could be entered to a touch-screen voting machine in order to proceed voting for the candidate of their choice. The summary of each candidate would be shown, such as their background, their policies and their stand on certain political issue. Voter can change their mind in the process of selecting candidates until they submit their final choice. The votes are instantly recorded and counted in the system that will save more time than the original paper ballots casting. Before Election Day, election officials use EMS (election management system) to set up the election (Weldemariam, Kemmerer, Villafiorita; 2011). Ballots definition files are loaded into DRE machines, CF cards are installed and printers are assigned for each DRE machine. Potential Benefits

Electronic voting allows faster results and it is a pathway to paperless voting system. Instead of spending hundreds of papers all around the country on casting ballots, certain amount of machines at polling stations can be used by many voters with their distinct ID or smartcard. Instead of spending hours counting the ballots back in the 1770’s, with electronic voting, votes are automatically recorded and counted. It also allows voters to be anonymous. Furthermore, it is only voting system that provides the most support for the disability. "Touchscreens are the only system which allows a...
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