Infuence Of Technology On E-Voting
For a long period of time, the ideal voting system used by key world governments has been ballot paper. However advancement in technology has resulted to emergence of electronic voter systems. At its inception, the systems were based primitive technology, such as punch cards, optical scanners and transmitting results via dedicated network channels. This systems however were vulnerable to easy manipulation and hence distrusted by many people. Fortunately further technological improvement has led to the emergence of DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voter systems. An ATM like machine is used as the vote casting terminal. Thumbs prints and facial recognition are then used to identify valid voters. So how exactly does this type of technology influence the voting process?
Reduced Voting Period
Paper voting demand a human clerks to verify the identity of voters, a process which can take 5-10 minutes. Now considering a population of millions of voters, it takes at least two days to complete the whole voting process. However with e-voting, the verification process takes microseconds, making it possible to complete voting in less than 24 hours. The tallying of votes also happens progressively in a real time manner. Paper systems on the other hand, have to wait for all votes to be cast, before any counting begins. Simply put, e-voting systems like the DRE can guarantee provisional poll results as soon as the vote casting process is complete.
The efficiency of an e-voting system is determined by the installation strategies used. A government intending to administer such technology requires to collect voter data and feed them to a central database at least a year before the election date. The system also has to be tested over a long period of time to ensure its consistency and integrity. Paper based systems on the hand required minimal preparation periods, since the only critical task involved is that training the election clerks and support team.