Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Can E-Voting Encourage Better Voter Turnout Among Young People?

Real Democracy Now Brighton Source: everystock.com 
Voter apathy has always been a problem. It has become increasingly difficult to motivate the electorate and get them interested in politics and plans and everything that is at stake. One demographic in particular has consistently been difficult to engage: youth. This includes the demographic group with voters up to and even beyond 30 years of age.

However, with the adoption an automation of electoral voting systems and other well planned communication strategies, it is possible to encourage greater voter turnout among this important demographic.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Case Studies of Internet-Based Electronic Voting in Canada

Source: Elections Canada
Electronic voting systems can take on many different forms. Some only involve the electronic counting of paper ballots. Others use touchscreen voting terminals. Taking another monumental leap forward is the concept of Internet-based electronic voting. This can free up resources, be more cost effective, and be more accessible since voters never have to leave the comfort of their homes and offices.

Internet voting appears to be picking up in popularity in many parts of the world and one country that is gradually adopting it more and more is Canada. Here are a few examples.

British Columbia Liberal Leadership

In early 2011, the Liberal Party of British Columbia held its leadership vote by using technology from a phone and Internet voting company. To help ensure that the ballots were accurate and free of fraud, the voting members each received a PIN code that would provide them with voting access, not unlike a normal voter registration process. Votes could then be cast online or by telephone.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What guarantees should a next-generation automated voting system provide?

For all democratic societies, voting is the perfect vehicle for the expression of individual will and respect for freedom. From raising a hand showing approval or rejection, to writing on a piece of paper or marking preferences on a touch screen, the goal is always the same: to give human beings the opportunity to choose with free will.

It is of utmost importance to encourage massive participation in electoral processes for modern and pluralistic societies to evolve. One way to achieve participation is through the improvement and automation of electoral systems. Systems that provide guarantees to the civil society as well as security and reliability and at the same time represent a sign of positive development and investment for the states and their authorities.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The History of E-Voting in Brazil

Picture: alexdecarvalho
Some people have said that Brazil is ahead of its time when it comes to the country's electoral process. Indeed, the South American nation is widely regarded as a leader when it comes to electronic voting, but it's not like Brazil suddenly fell into this role overnight. The evolution of e-voting in Brazil has taken place over the last couple of decades with each progressive step moving into greater levels of both security and automation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A History of Voting Machines and Automation

Just as society moved from walking on foot to riding horses to driving cars, the history of automation and voting machines has much the same sense of evolution. However, what's interesting is that one technology didn't really replace the one that preceded it; many different types of voting machines co-existed for a number of years and even today, many standards exists for what is accepted as a reliable and efficient voting system.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Opinions of World Leaders on E-Voting

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
applauds the electronic voting system used in the nation. 
Electronic voting systems can take on many forms. Some may be completely digital in nature, whereas others may have more paper documentation in place for the purposes of record-keeping and audit trails. Whatever the case, the endorsement of powerful world leaders is positively necessary if e-voting is to be more widely adopted and used around the globe. The question is how current politicians and heads of state currently feel about the types of technology available.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Internet Voting: Interview with William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.

William J. Kelleher has a Ph.D. in political science, from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1984).  He has written two books about the process of elections in the USA. The first, The New Election Game (1987), reviewed the history of campaign finance reform in US presidential elections, and discussed Buckminster Fuller’s idea of telephone voting as an election reform.  That book came out just before the “PC Revolution,” in the US.  So, the new technology soon made that book out of date.  His second book on election reform is Internet Voting Now! (2011).   As the title suggests, he advocates using Internet voting for all US elections.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Where’s E-Voting Heading To?

Eduardo Correia,
Smartmatic's Electoral Unit Vice President
Just as the universe is always changing and as our planet and all living things evolve, society is in constant evolution. That conglomerate of individuals who share ideas, traditions, information, foundations and ideologies, is also evolving towards a more responsible and demanding trend that seeks stronger democratic systems. One of the tools for achieving this objective is the vote, and the transparent election of representative officials.

As technology is an essential part of our daily life, automated voting systems are becoming an appropriate vehicle to attain a solid and legitimate democratic model. Gradually, automated voting systems have been perfected and, as if they were living organisms, they have matured into a successful pattern, already adopted by many nations. What then is the future of electronic voting?

According to Eduardo Correia, Smartmatic’s Electoral Unit Vice President, “today's automated voting systems stem from the idea of ensuring that any election results are determined solely by the will of the voters. Based on the number of previous successful experiences in Brazil, the Philippines and India for over 10 years, processes that have not only been well executed, but also very well received by the electorate, we can say that electronic voting is definitely an irreversible trend”.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

India Tests E-Voting System Under Extreme Conditions

What better way to demonstrate the viability, reliability, and security of an electronic voting system than to put this system through its paces in the second most heavily populated country in the world? That is precisely what is being planned, as a prototype of an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) with a verifiable paper trail is set to be tested in 200 locations all around India. This series tests is scheduled to take place by the middle of July.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

E-Voting and Audits in the United States Electoral System

When you go to a government office to get your passport, you expect that the systems in place are reasonable secure and reliable. Similarly, when you are faced with a medical emergency, you expect that the hospital has the proper checks and balances in place to ensure that you receive the care that you need. You expect that the instruments are properly calibrated and your medical records are accurate. When it comes to electronic voting, you should have the same kinds of assurances.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Manual Voting Absurdities Around the World

Picture: Wagner T. Cassimiro "Aranha" 
The processes supporting democracy are no laughing matter. Elections of all sizes have a great deal of importance for the areas they cover, but this doesn't mean that there are not laughable absurdities when it comes to the world of politics. More specifically, there have been many absurd situations over the years regarding manual voting.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Refuting the Claims Against E-Voting Systems

Picture: lowjumpingfrog
The world is moving toward an increasingly paperless society. Email and scanners have rendered fax machines virtually obsolete. Credit and debit cards mean paper money isn't as necessary as it once was. Why is it, then, that so many countries around the globe still make use of manual voting systems for their elections rather than opting for a more efficient electronic voting ("e-voting") system instead?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chubut’s Electoral Results: A Handful of Doubts

On March 20th, the citizens of the Argentinian province of Chubut casted their votes to elect their new governor, a position disputed between the candidates Martín Buzzi and Carlos Eliceche.

Several days have passed since the Election Day, but the official consolidated data is not yet known. Although the ruling party candidate Buzzi was declared the winner, the delay in issuing the results and the slight difference between the candidates has created a shroud of doubt over the election. Various sources have suggested a lack of transparency in the process, and the debate about the need for implementing an electronic voting system has been revived.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The World is Hip to E-Voting

Electronic voting is quick for voters, helps to prevent spoiled ballots, and counts votes in an instant. Election polls in general have historically experienced mixed results or fraud from myriad voting systems, but overall, electronic voting has made the process more efficient and secure for the United States and countries worldwide.
The May 2010 national election in the Philippines was that country’s first nation-wide automated election, and 50 million Filipinos took part in one of the smoothest elections in their history. The results were available in 12 hours, making it also the fastest vote count the 7000 island country had ever experienced.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recounts and Fraudulent Elections Cost Big Time

Fraudulent elections can cost countries millions of dollars, not to mention being doomed to years of policies implemented by the wrong candidate, a candidate not democratically selected by that nation’s people.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Disabled voters love E-Voting

E-voting machines mean greater access, independence, and privacy for millions of disabled voters. Some of them have described the experience of using next generation voting machines as a “new freedom” and cherish the “privilege to have that right to privacy for the first time.”

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Emerging democracies and technology

Francesca Varda is a political scientist from Cornell University with a Master in Latin American studies from NYU. In the last six years, she has worked on issues related to international justice. We decided to interview her to get a sense on how the adoption of electronic voting in emerging democracies could impact the process of conflict resolution.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The electronic vote in the United States

There are over 3,140 electoral mechanisms in the United States, which are used according to the decisions made by the local authorities of each state. The country has timidly started to shift between the old fashioned electoral systems, to new modern, efficient, secure and reliable electoral technology systems.