electronic voting

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Philippines: Voting machine glitches disrupt Philippines poll | Andreo Calonzo and Philip J. Heijmans/Washington Post

Malfunctioning machines and hundreds of arrests for suspected vote buying disrupted the Philippines’ midterm elections on Monday. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is poised for a majority win in both houses of Congress, even with slowing economic growth and controversial policies including a deadly drug war. Over 18,000 government positions are up for grabs in the midterm elections, including half of the 24-seat Senate and about 300 posts in the House. Polls are set to close at 6pm and among the stumbles have been defects in 600 voting machines, causing long queues and delays in several areas, the Commission on Elections said.

Full Article: Voting machine glitches disrupt Philippines poll.

Indonesia: Can e-voting solve Indonesia’s election woes? | The Jakarta Post

The idea of holding digital elections is picking up steam following reports that dozens of election workers died of reported extreme fatigue during and after organizing the nation’s first-ever concurrent elections, billed by many as “the world’s most complex”. While it is hard to determine if the April 17 general elections directly caused the deaths, a consensus has been reached that the current election system — in which five different paper-based elections are held on a single day — has to be changed. One of the proposed changes is for Indonesia to apply e-voting to make elections less complicated. The proposal, however, remains controversial, with lawmakers saying that even after so many election-related deaths, e-voting still seems like a distant dream. The controversy revolves around the question of whether Indonesia — an archipelago with a population of more than 250 million people — is ready for e-voting and whether the technology is the right solution to election problems. Lawmakers, election organizers, election observers and election engineers have given different answers.

Full Article: Can e-voting solve Indonesia’s election woes? - Politics - The Jakarta Post.

India: How the world’s largest democracy casts its ballots | The Conversation

About 600 million Indian citizens are expected to cast their votes over a period of 39 days ending May 19, in the ongoing election for their country’s parliament. There are roughly 900 million eligible voters, and the country has typically seen about two-thirds of them turn out to polling places. I have been working on the security of electronic voting systems for more than 15 years, and, along with other colleagues, have been interested in understanding how a nation can tally that many votes cast over such a long period. India uses a domestically designed and manufactured electronic voting machine – as many as 4 million of them at 1 million polling places, at least some in extremely remote locations. The first version of the Indian electronic voting machine debuted in the state election in Kerala in 1982. Now they’re used in elections throughout the country, which happen on different days in different areas. When a voter arrives at the polling place, she presents a photo ID and the poll officer checks that she is on the electoral roll. When it’s her turn to vote, a polling official uses an electronic voting machine’s control unit to unlock its balloting unit, ready to accept her vote. The balloting unit has a very simple user interface: a series of buttons with candidate names and symbols. To vote, the voter simply presses the button next to the candidate of her choice. After each button press, a printer prints out the voter’s choice on paper and displays it to the voter for a few seconds, so the person may verify that the vote was recorded correctly. Then the paper is dropped into a locked storage box. The whole system runs on a battery, so it does not need to be plugged in.

Full Article: How the world's largest democracy casts its ballots.

United Kingdom: E-voting by touch-screen trialled in local elections | BBC

Voters in Gateshead are being invited to vote twice in the local elections – via the traditional ballot box and on a touch-screen computer. Only their ballot paper vote will count, with the e-voting just a trial. E-voting could eventually transform elections, doing away with the need for an election count. Several countries have experimented with such systems but security fears have held deployment back. Anyone wanting to take part has to record their vote via a touch-screen computer at the polling booth by entering a passcode issued to them, selecting a candidate and then receiving a paper receipt. All encrypted votes are published on the election website, where anyone will be able to look at the tally for each candidate. The system will flag up if any e-vote has been illegitimately modified. What made it different from previous systems was that it could be verified “end to end”, said the team at Warwick University who developed it, with funding from the European Research Council and Innovate UK.

Full Article: E-voting by touch-screen trialled in local elections - BBC News.

Bulgaria: High court rejects appeal in voting machines tender | The Sofia Globe

Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) ruled on April 30 to deny the challenge lodged by one of losing bidders in the tender for the hire of 3000 voting machines for the country’s May 26 European Parliament elections. The plaintiff, which was disqualified by Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) on the grounds that its offer did not meet the technical specifications set by the watchdog, argued that none of the three bidders could fully meet the technical requirements in the short time allocated for the tender. CEC spokesperson Alexander Andreev denied the allegations, saying that the electoral body met all the requirements set in the public procurement act and the technical requirements were met, as quoted by Bulgarian National Radio. Last week, CEC picked Ciela Norma as the winner in the tender. The company will have to deliver the voting machines by May 10, with software installation due to be completed by May 15, followed by 10 days for certification and audits. The voting machines would be then shipped to voting precincts on May 25.

Full Article: Bulgaria high court rejects appeal in voting machines tender | The Sofia Globe.

India: Opposition parties take electronic voting machine woes to Election Commission | The Hindu

Opposition parties on Saturday approached the Election Commission alleging the display of party name only under the BJP symbol on EVMs during a mock poll in West Bengal’s Barrackpore constituency. However the poll panel has maintained that the same insignia was used for the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. A delegation comprising senior Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Ahmed Patel and Trinamool Congress’ Dinesh Trivedi and Derek O’Brien met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and demanded that either all such EVMs be removed from the remaining phases of elections or the names of other parties be added too. The EVMs display the party symbols, name of the candidates and their photographs. “On EVMs, the letters ‘BJP’ are visible under the party’s symbol. No other party’s name is there. Either remove all machines which mention the BJP clearly or all other parties’ name should be added in all such machines. Till then the use of these machines has to be stopped,” Mr. Singhvi told reporters after meeting the CEC.

Full Article: Opposition parties take EVM woes to Election Commission - The Hindu.

Philippines: Voting machines to service more voters in 2019 polls | Rappler

Each vote-counting machine (VCM) will service more voters in the May 13 polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday, April 26. The maximum number of voters that can use each VCM is now 1,000. In the 2016 elections, the maximum was 800 voters per VCM. In a DZMM interview, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez explained that the number of registered voters has risen to 61 million this year from 54 million in 2016. Jimenez said the number of VCMs in the Comelec’s custody, however, stayed at 92,000. “Unfortunately hindi sumabay ang bilang ng makina natin. Ang bilang ng makina natin, ganoon pa rin. So ang ginawa ng Comelec, tinaasan ‘yung dami ng taong gagamit ng bawat makina,” Jimenez said. (Unfortunately, the number of machines was not able to keep up. The number of machines stayed the same. So the Comelec increased the number of people who will use each machine.)

Full Article: Voting machines to service more voters in 2019 polls.

Israel: Voting to stay secure: Israel a long way from electronic ballots | Ynet

Tears could be seen on the face of Orly Adas, the director of the Central Elections Committee, two weeks ago, when she began speaking at a meeting to discuss the final election results. The tears were an expression of the enormous tension and frustration felt by members of the committee during the period between Election Day and the release of the results. “We were under ferocious attack,” says Adas, referring to efforts by the New Right party to undermine the validity of election results that put them just 1,500 votes short of the threshold to enter the Knesset. That said, one must not cast aside claims made on social media by voters unaligned to a particular political party, who cite examples of distortions in the vote count. In the end, the question is whether there a way to improve the voting system and the count, both of which have barely been modified since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, despite the enormous technological improvements made in the past decades?

Full Article: Voting to stay secure: Israel a long way from electronic ballots.

Bulgaria: Election Commission picks company to supply voting machines | The Sofia Globe

Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has picked a winner in the tender for the hire of 3000 voting machines for the country’s May 26 European Parliament elections. Three bidders submitted offers before the deadline, but CEC said that two were disqualified – one on the grounds that its bid was higher than the 7.5 million leva (about 3.8 million euro) cost ceiling set by CEC, the other because its offer did not meet the technical specifications set by the watchdog. The winner, Ciela Norma, said that it was prepared to meet all the deadlines even though it faced a slew of issues. A company official told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT) that some voting machines were yet to be manufactured and shipped to Bulgaria and the software was not ready, given that CEC was yet to finalise its requirements on the printouts produced by the voting machines. Under the terms of CEC’s tender, the machines have to be delivered by May 10, with software installation due to be completed by May 15, followed by 10 days for certification and audits. The voting machines would be then shipped to voting precincts on May 25.

Full Article: Bulgaria’s election watchdog picks company to supply voting machines | The Sofia Globe.

India: Electronic voting machines glitches mar voting in seven states | Times of India

Technical glitches in electronic voting machines (EVM) marred voting in seven of the 12 states that went to polls in the second phase of the staggered Lok Sabha electionsFaulty EVMs delayed polls in several constituencies in Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. In Odisha, EVM glitches in many booths in Talsara Assembly constituency were reported while polling was delayed in six booths in Bonai Assembly constituency. Odisha saw both Lok Sabha as well as Assembly elections. Booths in Kendudihi, Bolangir and Kandhamal, G.Udayagiri and Baliguda in Odisha were also affected. In Uttar Pradesh, EVMs malfunctioned and disrupted polling in Mathura, Bulandshahr and Amroha. In Fatehpur Sikri, voters created a ruckus at booth no 201 and 54 where polling was on hold for more than 30 minutes due to EVM troubles. There were also reports of snags in the VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail)-EVMs in Nanded, Latur and Solapur in Maharashtra which either delayed polling or stopped it midway.
Unofficial reports said at least 75 EVMs were replaced with spare ones in polling stations in Nanded alone. Admitting that there were complaints against EVMs in some booths in Karnataka, Joint Chief Electoral Officer A.V. Surya Sen said they were replaced soon.”We have given extra EVMS to all the polling booths to replace any machine having glitches or malfunctioning. Technical officials have been stationed at the booths to replace them at the earliest to avoid voters waiting for their turn,” added Sen.

In the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu, voters stood in queue in several booths for nearly an hour to vote.

Similarly, at a booth in Chennai, there was a technical glitch that delayed voting for about an hour.

Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo told reporters that 384 faulty EVMs and 692 faulty VVPAT machines were replaced across the state. After that, polling went on smoothly.

EVM problems were also reported in Bihar’s Purnea, Katihar and Banka seats and in Ramban in the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.

Full Article: EVM glitches mar voting in seven states – Times of India.

Full Article: EVM glitches mar voting in seven states - Times of India.

Russia: MPs cry foul in row over electronic voting | BBC

Russia’s lower house of parliament has passed a law allowing electronic voting in public elections – despite complaints that MPs’ own electronic voting system was being abused. Communist Aleksei Kurinny said fewer than half the MPs who backed the bill were actually present to vote. Earlier, his colleague Sergei Ivanov said some MPs were abusing the system by voting on behalf of colleagues. Deputy Speaker Alexander Zhukov ignored the complaints. Mr Ivanov, an MP for the Liberal Democratic Party, appeared to cast doubt on the reliability of any electronic voting, based on his colleagues’ behaviour in the State Duma. “I will not vote for this bill… There are 140 of you in this chamber, give or take one or two. If you are honest and decent people and don’t vote for your colleague who is not occupying their seat next to you, the bill won’t pass.” Media reports say Mr Zhukov tried to make a joke of the plea, calling on MPs not in the chamber to take their seats.

Full Article: Russian MPs cry foul in row over electronic voting - BBC News.

India: Opposition leaders questions reliability of electronic voting machines, demand 50 per cent VVPAT count | Business Standard

Opposition leaders including TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi and AAP’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, on Sunday questioned the reliability of the electronic voting machines (EVMS) and demanded a mandatory paper trail count in at least 50 per cent of the Assembly constituencies in all Lok Sabha seats. At a joint press conference, Singhvi said,”We will campaign in the whole country and outline that repeatedly questions are being raised on elections and the Election Commission is not paying due attention to it. We have heard many issues in these elections such as EVM button giving vote to a different candidate and lakhs of voters being deleted online. Fifteen state parties and six national parties are supporting this campaign. We believe that counting of five VVPATs per Assembly constituency is not good enough. We want that check of 50 per cent of VVPATs must be made mandatory in all constituencies.” “There were arguments raised about logistics and it was stated that VVPAT counting may take days. However, we believe that if the number of teams of poll officials is increased it can be done in lesser time. Between logistics and credibility, we must choose the latter. We believe that paper trail is indispensible,” he said.

Full Article: Opposition leaders questions reliability of EVMs, demand 50 per cent VVPAT count | Business Standard News.

Bulgaria: Election watchdog calls tender to rent 3000 voting machines | The Sofia Globe

BulgariaBulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has called a tender for the hire of 3000 voting machines for the country’s May 26 European Parliament elections. The CEC intends to rent, rather than buy, the voting machines, and plans to spend up to 7.5 million to 15 million leva (about 3.8 million euro) on the contract. The cost will include software installation and training, the CEC said. Under the terms of the tender, the machines are slated for delivery by May 10, with software installation due to be completed by May 15, followed by 10 days for certification and audits, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio quoted CEC spokesperson Tanya Tsaneva as saying. The voting machines would be then shipped to voting precincts on May 25.

Full Article: Bulgaria’s election watchdog calls tender to rent 3000 voting machines | The Sofia Globe.

Malta: No more manual counting: is Malta justified in joining the voting future? | Malta Today

MaltaMaltese elections are unique in the way hundreds of party activists and canvassers congregate inside the national counting hall to monitor the live count of votes, collecting tallies of the data as it is read out to calculate samples, and hit the Perspex separator wall hard when a vote is incorrectly counted. The process, which usually takes over three days to fully complete, usually delivers a first-count vote tally within 12 hours, but sampling of votes delivers a clear picture of who the winner is within the first hour of sorting. In November of last year, the vote counting hall in Naxxar was transformed to include a fully-functioning electronic system from Idox, a Scottish software company. Their technology will be used for the European Parliament and local council elections in May this year, less than two months from now. E-counting will be used in a bid to speed up the process and to minimise human error. Voting will still be a manual endeavour via a ballot paper.

Full Article: No more manual counting: is Malta justified in joining the voting future?.

Pakistan: New electronic ballot machine launched | The Express Tribune

With the use of electronic and biometric voting machines dismissed by the apex electoral body ahead of last year’s general elections on account of ‘technical difficulties’, another private company has sought to reignite the debate by introducing its prototype. The new electronic voting machine (EVM), developed by ElectronBallot, was unveiled in the federal capital on Monday. Rizwan Kamran, the chief executive officer of the company, introduced the machine as an alternative to conventional voting (paper ballot). He claimed that the machine can deliver final, verified and official results on the night of an election. Moreover, he said that the machine was capable of delivering results to a centralised location. “Digital elections do not mean they are safe,” he warned, adding that they could employ mathematical tools to make the electronic voting process more transparent.

Full Article: New electronic ballot machine launched | The Express Tribune.

India: Electronic Voting Machine and its history with India: Controversy over EVMs malfunctioning, rigging allegations are not new | Firstpost

Controversy is brewing over an Indian cyber expert’s claim that EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) were hacked in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections which the BJP had won by a landslide margin. Reacting strongly to the allegations, the Election Commission rejected the claims and insisted that the EVMs were foolproof and that it was ‘wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest’. Addressing a press conference in London via Skype, the individual, identified as Syed Shuja, said he fled India in 2014 because he felt threatened in the country after the killing of some of his team members. Although he appeared on screen through Skype, his face was masked. Shuja claimed that he is seeking political asylum in the US. Shuja, however, provided no proof to back up his claim. Shuja also alleged that other than the BJP, the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, AAP and Congress too were involved in the rigging of the EVMs. EVMs can record a maximum of 3,840 votes and can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates. There are 543 Lok Sabha constituencies and an equivalent number of seats in the Lower House of Parliament. To win a simple majority more than 272 seats are therefore needed. BJP won 51.9 percent of all seats in 2014 elections. In the 2014 election, 66.4 percent out of the total electorate of 834,101,479 voted.

Full Article: Electronic Voting Machine and its history with India: Controversy over EVMs malfunctioning, rigging allegations are not new.

New Jersey: Progress Seen in Test of Paper-Trail voting Machines that Allow Audit of Results | NJ Spotlight

Review of midterm election offers assurance that electronic vote counts are reliable, but lawmakers show limited interest in deploying the technology statewide. New Jersey’s first pilot tests of voting machines that provide a way to verify results proved successful in the last election, and now some officials are looking forward to expanding testing later. Typically, elections with state Assembly seats topping the ticket — like this coming fall — have low turnouts and so make this an ideal time to roll out new machines. These machines include a paper ballot alongside an electronic screen which both allows voters to check that their choices were properly marked and keeps a paper trail for the elections board. Fewer people casting ballots should help reduce the wait some may experience as voters who may be confused by the new technology take more time on the machine.

Full Article: Progress Seen in Test of Paper-Trail voting Machines that Allow Audit of Results - NJ Spotlight.

Congo: A shambolic, unfair election, two years late – Who will win the count? | The Economist

Standing on a chair in a shabby classroom, a technician peels the plastic off the end of a cable with his teeth and attaches it to some exposed wires that dangle around a light bulb. “Soon the machine will work again,” he says cheerfully to a queue of voters, most of whom have waited for more than five hours. Across Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, hundreds of voting machines did not work on polling day, December 30th. The electronic tablets, nicknamed machines à voler (stealing machines), did little to redeem their dodgy reputation. A lot of voters, unfamiliar with touchscreen technology, struggled to use them. Officials from the electoral commission, widely believed to be in President Joseph Kabila’s pocket, offered unsolicited help. Observers feared they were nudging people to vote for the president’s chosen successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

Full Article: Congo has a shambolic, unfair election, two years late - Who will win the count?.

Georgia: Will Georgia Double Down on Non-Transparent, Vulnerable Election Machines? | WhoWhatWhy

How could Georgia make its current voting system worse? Officials seem to have found a way. Even before the 2018 midterm election, the Peach State had achieved notoriety based on, among other things, its use of hackable paperless voting machines. Paperless voting machines are considered an especially attractive target for hackers and corrupt insiders because they provide no independent paper record of voter intent that can be used to determine whether electronic tallies are legitimate. Thus, Georgia is one of just a handful of states that still exclusively use such paperless machines. The good news is that Georgia, which was the first state in the country to deploy paperless machines statewide, has finally decided to replace these machines. But Georgia’s newly elected Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger (R), hopes to replace them not with hand-marked paper ballots and scanners (as virtually all independent cybersecurity election experts recommend), but rather with touchscreen ballot-marking devices, a prime example of which is the ExpressVote system from Election Systems & Software, LLC (ES&S). The ExpressVote is the specific system that Governor-elect Brian Kemp (R) began promoting last year. ES&S is Georgia’s current vendor.

Full Article: Will Georgia Double Down on Non-Transparent, Vulnerable Election Machines? - WhoWhatWhy.

Bangladesh: In A First, Electronic Voting Machines For Bangladesh General Elections | NDTV

Bangladesh made use of electronic voting machines for the first time in a general election, though only on a limited scale, a move which received mixed responses from the voters amid reports of glitches in some booths.
Out of the 299 parliamentary constituencies that went to polls, six saw the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), a regular feature in India since decades. Voting for the 11th national election began with the machines being used in the six seats selected through lottery. These are: Dhaka-6, Dhaka-13, Chattogram-9, Rangpur-3, Khulna-2 and Satkhira-2. The six seats comprises over 2.1 million voters. The results from these six seats could be announced within hours after the voting ends, Bangladeshi media reported.

Full Article: In A First, Electronic Voting Machines For Bangladesh General Elections.