Electronic voting (also known as e-voting) is voting using electronic means to either aid or take care of the chores of casting and counting votes. Depending on the particular implementation, e-voting may encompass a range of Internet services, from basic data transmission to full-function online voting through common connectable household devices. Similarly, the degree of automation may vary from simple chores to a complete solution that includes voter registration & authentication, vote input, local or precinct tallying, vote data encryption and transmission to servers, vote aggregation and consolidation, and election administration. Any worthy e-voting system must perform most of these tasks while complying with a set of standards established by regulatory bodies, and must also be capable to deal successfully with strong requirements associated withsecurity, accuracy, integrity, swiftness, privacy, auditability, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, scalability and ecological sustainability.
Electronic voting technology can include punched cards, optical scan voting systems and specialized voting kiosks (including self-contained direct-recording electronic voting systems, or DRE). It can also involve transmission of ballots and votes via telephones, private computer networks, or the Internet.
In general, two main types of e-Voting can be identified:–
- e-voting which is physically supervised by representatives of governmental or independent electoral authorities (e.g. electronic voting machines located at polling stations);
- remote e-Voting where voting is performed within the voter’s sole influence, and is not physically supervised by representatives of governmental authorities (e.g. voting from one’s personal computer, mobile phone, television via the internet (also called i-voting)
Electronic voting technology can speed the counting of ballots and can provide improved accessibility for disabled voters. However, there has been contention, especially in theUnited States, that electronic voting, especially DRE voting, could facilitate electoral fraud.