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Modernization of electronic voting procedures

Modernization of electoral procedures will increase reliability, transparency and efficiency, thereby allowing public administrations and private organisations to use electronic voting equipment and procedures in their electoral processes.

New Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are present in all areas of society and Public Administration. Nowadays, the relations between citizens and Pubic Administrations are characterised by the increasing use of electronic procedures. In this context, citizens are demanding a modernisation of electoral procedures in order to increase the efficiency and transparency of elections. Private organisations like large companies, trade unions, sports clubs and associations have electoral processes to elect their governing bodies. An electronic voting system for these kinds of elections gives these organisations an opportunity to increase the efficiency, reliability and transparency of the elections. The logistics and personnel involved in the election will be reduced and it will mean a reduction in the costs of holding the election for the company, thereby increasing the efficiency of the process. The development of methodologies for the implementation of electronic voting procedures will provide society with better quality electoral services, characterised by the reliability and transparency of the new systems. The electronic voting system is an intermediate state, before reaching the concept of e-democracy. This means a modernisation of the services offered to citizens, without having associated social and political implications: - The results will be available to citizens in a shorter time and the reliability of the process is always available. The innovation applied to the voting process will probably improve the voter turnout statistics. - The organisations responsible for electoral processes will benefit from the implementation of electronic voting. Election management will be simplified, the risks of the procedure will be minimised and logistics and personnel involved in the process will be reduced. The aim objective of the MOVOT project is to develop two alternative electronic voting systems and a new methodology to allow Public Administrations and Private Organisations to use electronic voting equipment in their electoral processes together with the corresponding transfer of technology. The broad experience of INDRA, in several countries, in the design of different customised electoral processes guarantees the capacity to develop the necessary technologies (Electronic Ballot Box (PAPERVOT) and the Electronic Voting Machine (TOUCHVOT), and makes it possible to test the validity, efficiency and advantages of both voting systems, in the context of a new approach to the electoral process. What is needed now is innovation in the electoral processes through the development of appropriate processes and methodologies for both the Public and the Private sectors where electoral processes take place. The system comprises two alternative tools for electronic voting systems, PAPERVOT and TOUCHVOT. Both systems allow the automation of the voting process at the polling station while minimising alterations to voting procedures. * PAPERVOT PAPERVOT will be an electronic ballot box that reads, stores and administrates ballot papers following the procedure of the traditional voting system. It will have the ability to change the traditional voting system to an electronic one without the potential loss of ballot papers. PAPERVOT will ensure that the voter places his ballot inside a ballot box (either alone or inside an envelope), without any change in the voter procedures, so that the voter will not perceive any alteration in his voting habits, but at the same time there is a modernisation of the electoral process for both the voter and the electoral authority. The optical scanner will read the vote as it is placed in the ballot box. When the polling station is closed, PAPERVOT will automatically count the votes cast, without human intervention in the process, and will print the election returns. The information will be stored in a backup memory and the results will be transmitted, via a communication network, to the consolidation centre when closing the polling station. Using PAPERVOT, authorities will be able to report election results quickly. This voting system will keep the paper ballot as the basis of the entire process, thus maintaining traditional voting procedures. PAPERVOT will be the only electronic voting machine that will have the capability of reading the ballot paper through an envelope. The basic functions of PAPERVOT will be: - To monitor election day - To monitor the vote of each voter - To electronically read the ballot papers - To issue a voting confirmation to each voter - To store, count and transmit the provisional results - To issue electoral reports. * TOUCHVOT In TOUCHVOT, a set of selection menus will be displayed on a touch-screen, replacing the ballot paper. The voter will select the candidates/candidacies on the touch-screen, validate the selection and the system will formalise the electronic vote, which will be stored in a memory in order to produce the election return. The results will be transmitted, via a communication network, to a central location at the end of the election day. TOUCHVOT is a path to e-voting. Its easy adaptability to headphones, microphone and Braille keyboards will allow disabled people to vote without the help of a third person. The basic functions of TOUCHVOT will be: - To monitor election day - To monitor the vote of each voter - To electronically read the ballot papers - To issue a voting confirmation to each voter - To stores, count and transmit the provisional results - To issue electoral reports. The main difference with the traditional voting procedures will be the elimination of the paper ballot. As a consequence, the costs associated with ballot printing and logistics will be eliminated. This will mean savings of tons of paper which are required for every traditional election process, saving at the same time thousands of trees. Data will be stored, so if it is necessary, it will be possible to audit the process by checking that the data stored is the same as data transmitted to the 'Totalisation Centre'. The MOVOT project addresses the development of innovative procedures by using electronic equipment in the electoral process for both the public and private sectors. The MOVOT project will push the transfer of know-how towards less developed countries through the organisation of workshops, seminars and other training activities. The expected results of the project would make the preparation of large-scale demonstrations and trials possible to in order to ensure the adoption and development of the electronic voting methodology developed. Keywords: electronic voting, electronic procedures, e-government.
Acronym: 
MOVOT
Project ID: 
2 845
Start date: 
01-07-2002
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
3 140 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Data Processing / Data Interchange, Middleware
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.