Australian Election Company conducts Elections, Ballots, Plebiscites, and Referendums applying secure, ‘state of the art’, Online Voting technology.
Online Voting opens up new possibilities and brings a unique experience to the Voting process. Online Voting is about improving voter convenience and accessibility, improving accuracy and the security of the voting process and the rapid feedback of Election or Ballot Results. Online Voting is ideal in the circumstances where there are say, in excess of 1,500 eligible voters.
Advantages of Online Voting
- Security and secrecy
- Accessibility is enhanced for Voters
- Simplicity and ease of use
- Rapid tabulation of Results
- Cost savings compared with Postal Voting and Attendance or Polling Booth Voting
Security and Secrecy
Security and integrity are imposed by using ’state of the art‘ Online Voting software with initiatives to ensure the security and integrity of Election and Ballot processes. We will design, and implement the voting website onto our secure server which also stores the database of eligible voters. This database is removed from the server once an Election or Ballot project is completed.
Security of process is implemented by requiring voters to provide authentication details before gaining access to the Online Voting Ballot screens.
Online Voting affords increased levels of general Election or Ballot security compared with traditional Polling Booth or Postal Voting processes. Depending upon the information available through an organisation’s voter database, and also depending upon the level of security required, varying levels of voter authentication may be applied. Obviously, the higher the level of authentication, the greater the level of security.
Typically two or three levels of authentication are used. For example, a Member Number in association with a uniquely allocated secret Password or Personal Identification Number might be applied in the context of Online Voting for a Board of Directors’ Election.
Similarly, for a Collective Agreement Ballot process, an Employee Number in conjunction with a unique Password or Personal Identification Number is frequently utilized.
Online Voting also acts as a preventive measure against attempted multiple voting. Once an eligible voter correctly authenticates their identity by quoting their Password or Personal Identification Number and casts their vote, then their Password is “consumed” and it cannot be used again. Voters are unable to vote on their Password more than once.
In cases where different voting mediums might be employed for the same Ballot/Election, say with Postal Voting conducted in conjunction with Online Voting, voting access is registered on the voter database from both mediums so a voter could not vote by Postal Voting, as well as by Online Voting!
Every voter’s vote is secret. When the voter confirms their vote selection(s), the Online Voting system “consumes” the Password/Personal Identification Number (PIN) and “marks” the Voter Roll (database), to indicate that the user has voted. System capability provides for the simultaneous storing of the actual vote details in a separate database; this ensures that the voter can only vote once and that their vote is anonymous, as the vote can no longer be associated with their details on the Voter Roll.
Accessibility for voters is greatly enhanced through Online Voting because eligible voters can vote using any Internet / Online enabled computer, anywhere in the World. This could be from their home, their workplace, an Internet / Online Kiosk, from a library, or even on a Cruise Ship! And no special software or browsers are required.
Online Voting also increases opportunities for participation from those voters who might be situated remotely from traditional polling facilities, those who might be visiting overseas, those who have physical disabilities or who might be ill or infirm, and those whose religious beliefs might preclude attendance at polling booths during the normal hours/days of polling.
Simplicity is a keynote of Online Voting. All a voter needs to do is Login to the secured voting website located on our election server, key in their authentication details (usually a Member or Employee Number and a Password/PIN) and access is granted to the Ballot Screen (or Screens).
If candidate or like promotional statements are a feature of your Elections or Ballots, then a voter could access the candidate promotional statements (including photographs, if permissible under the relevant governance requirements) on-line, simply by “clicking” on the relevant candidate’s name.
Once a voter makes their selections, by “clicking” inside a box beside their chosen candidate (or candidates), or in the case of a Collective Agreement Employee Ballot, by “clicking” in either the “YES” or “NO” box, a screen will appear confirming the voter’s selection(s). At this stage a voter either is able to confirm and submit their selection(s) by simply looking at the “Confirmation Screen”, or they may amend their ballot by “clicking” on the “Return” button. Once their vote is cast and submitted, a “Thank You” screen appears completing the voting process.
Thus the Online Voting system provides the distinct advantage of the voter being able to visualize every step in the voting process, as well as having the flexibility and capacity to amend their vote, prior to its final submission. And the voter can even print out a confirmation that their vote has been cast.
Rapid tabulation of Results is characteristic of Online Voting. In fact the Election or Ballot Results theoretically are instantaneously available; there is no waiting for the conduct of potentially inaccurate manual counts, or for the data keying or electronic scanning of Ballots. As soon as our standard internal checking processes are completed, the Results are available to clients.
And if there are complex voting systems involved, whether variants of preferential or “first past the post” systems, then our proprietary software integrated with the Online Voting system, will apply those systems to deliver absolutely accurate count outcomes and output reports, again virtually instantaneously.
Cost savings accrue through application of Online Voting compared with traditional Attendance (Polling Booth) and/or Postal Voting. With Attendance Voting, there are obvious significant infrastructure costs involved, for example, the provision of staff, the hire of polling premises and equipment, costs of printing of ballot papers, costs of undertaking the counting of votes etc.
With Postal Voting, there are significant envelope, ballot paper and other material costs, postage expenses, together with return ballot processing costs and again count costs.
On the other hand, with Online Voting, once the relevant web screens have been developed, essentially there are few other costs. We know that Online Voting is more efficient than other traditional processes and would be confident that your Election or Ballot costs will be substantially reduced.