Series: Automated voting II: on-site voting

There are some variables that allow the description of the different electronic voting systems. There are two main systems: on-site and Internet voting. The on-site voting system is the most used around the globe because if the security guarantees it offers: trust, because votes can be audited, interaction/retro alimentation experience between the equipment and the voters, because the vote count is assured, and the inclusion of disabled voters. We will now see the characteristics of the multiple forms that e-voting have.

There are systems that register votes and include the identification and the reading of electoral ballots, as well as electronic direct recording in the memory of the voting devices. The systems may be distinguished according to the voting instruments, such as the optical scanners that use the ballots as the principal instrument when casting the votes. These systems keep a tangible proof of vote.

DRE systems are also used in on-site voting, which have a screen or keyboard as the main instrument for casting the vote (instead of a ballot). In some cases, they may have printed proof of the votes.

On one hand, the optical scanners provide automated vote counting, which uses an optical scanner that recognizes the ballots that is manually introduced into the machine, in order to preserve the proof of vote. The device then identifies the ballots and registers the vote, totalizing then in the machine’s memory.

This voting system can be classified according to the type of ballot that is used: nomination ballot system (that uses a recognition code) or multiple ballot system or manual marking (that uses circles or rectangles to mark the voter’s choice, which are filled by each voter).

These systems (optical scanners) have been proven in various countries such as United States, Philippines, England, Norway, Belgium and Venezuela.

On the other hand, DRE systems allow voters to use different instruments to cast electronically their votes and receiving a direct feedback from the machine. These systems (contrary to the optical scanners), they not necessarily require the use of ballots, as registration can be made directly on the machine, and its Reading is done by a computing device built into the voting machine.

This system may include instruments such as keypads, touch screen, magnetic stripe card and laser pointer, computer and console keyboard. For the vote registration, built in memory cards are used, with separate reading machines. Currently, Venezuela uses this modality, with proof of votes. Brazil also uses this system but do not use the printed proof of vote, even though they are studying its implementation from 2014.


One thought on “Series: Automated voting II: on-site voting

  1. Pingback: Trial by fire in Colombia: 3 types of e-voting to be tested |

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