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Australia's Call To Embrace Electronic Voting

Australia's Call To Embrace Electronic Voting

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After a more than a week of counting votes for the Federal Election of 2016 five crucial seats still remain undecided and the country is still waiting on a verdict. The Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull and Opposition leader, Bill Shorten have requested electronic voting to be considered for future ballots.

Along with the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader software field experts are calling for Australia to embrace an electronic voting system in future to avoid the lengthy process the country is currently experiencing. 

How are other countries using the E-Vote System to benefit?

Estonia allows their online voters to use their ID card to log in and cast a vote. The system undertakes a number of security checks to identify the voter and there after the people can long in up until election day to change their vote - each new vote overwrites the previous submission.

Places such as Utah use an online system where the voters are sent a unique security pin to their mobile just before they vote. When they sign in using their ID number, they must enter the unique pin to proceed with casting their vote.

India, and Brazil have successfully implemented Electronic Voting Machines and Systems. An EVM or EVS consists of two units, control unit and balloting unit. To use it the officer in-charge of the Control Unit presses the Ballot Button. This enables the voter to cast his vote by pressing the blue button on the balloting unit against the candidate and symbol of his choice. 

Why does Australia desperately need Electronic Voting?

The AEC employs close to 75,000 people to manage the voting and the counting process. The country has come to a political stand still in the 2016 election. The laborious process of manual counts of ballot papers leaves great room for error and can pose a great time burden on the verdict to be revealed.

The biggest reason that people argue against the E-voting is because the system may be vulnerable to hacks, bribery and in general lack security, leaving room for fraud and identity theft. But hey, do you recall ever being asked for ID when going to cast a vote at a polling booth?

Critics express that electronic voting must be anonymous and electronic voting may prove a technical challenge in keeping voters identity a secret and encourage bribery. Nearly 1.3 million people in Australia vote by mail in this day and age and there is no proof that the voters were not bribed through this process.

Electronic voting presents technical challenges to ensure that people can rely on it being executed anonymously, accurately and without interference. Despite criticism against some existing electronic voting systems, current smart technology can be used to create a verifiable, secure online system.  A system that would save the country from electoral limbo and allow for fully auditable participation.

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