The trustworthiness of a voting system is extremely important.
Lesson from Bush vs Al Gore
In the year 2000, the fate of who is going to be the President of the United States was decided by 537 votes. Out of the around 20 million voters, the final result was based on that 537 votes! We know that George W. Bush became the President over Al Gore. Then 911 came, the Iraq war and the most devastating Patriot Act that took away many rights enjoyed by US citizens. What if Al Gore became the president? Would the world be a lot different?
The Year 2000 Bush vs Al Gore election casts doubt on the integrity of the voting system. This is especially true when Al Gore got the majority overall votes but lost to the electoral votes by 537 ballots. Afterwards, there were the HAVA, Help America Vote Act, the IEEE P1583 Voting Machine Standard, and the VSS Voting System Standards promulgated by the NASED National Association of State Election Directors to ensure the voting machine and the votes can be trusted.
We studied the various standards, Acts and rules that pointed out the concerns, particularly pointing to the Internet Voting Platform.
Deliberate secret code
Verification – voter can verify his own vote out of the final result
Transparency – every voter gets the final result and his own voting record
Auditing after the Fact – established an objective and verifiable audit trail
Statement on Voting Systems by the Association for Computer Machinery ACM
Virtually all voting systems in use today (punch-cards, lever machines, hand-counted paper ballots, among others) are subject to fraud and error, including electronic voting systems, which are not without their own risks and vulnerabilities. In particular, many electronic systems have been evaluated by independent, generally recognized experts and have been found to be poorly designed; developed using inferior software engineering processes; designed without (or with very limited) external audit capabilities; intended for operation without obvious protective measures; and deployed without rigorous, scientifically designed testing.
To protect the accuracy and impartiality of the electoral process, ACM recommends that all voting systems – particularly computer-based electronic voting systems – embody careful engineering, strong safe-guards, and rigorous testing in both their design and operation. In addition, voting systems should enable each voter to inspect a physical (for example, paper) record to verify that his or her vote has been accurately cast and to serve as an independent check on the result produced and stored by the system. Making those records permanent (that is, not based solely on computer memory) provides a means by which an accurate recount may be conducted. Ensuring the reliability, security, and verifiability of public elections is fundamental to a stable democracy. Convenience and speed of vote counting are no substitute for accuracy of results and trust in the process by the electorate.
Approved by ACM Council on August 25, 2004