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PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF AN E-VOTING MODEL FOR EFFECTIVE ELECTION SYSTEM

Abstract

Voting is an action considered to be fundamental in a democratic setting. E-voting can be referred to as an election that involves using an electronic device for the purpose of casting votes. Lack of transparency and other problems associated with semi-manual method of casting vote in Nigeria has indeed called for a more robust electronic voting system. In this paper, a model for evaluating e-voting system using fuzzy logic approach is proposed. The model was simulated and tested for students' union election using a Federal University in Nigeria. Opinions of the students regarding the proposed model were randomly sampled and analyzed for the purpose of evaluation especially when compared with the existing system of voting. Furthermore, factors that can guarantee free and fair election were discussed and put into consideration during the development of the model. The result shows that the proposed model was effective, efficient and reliable for implementing electronic voting system.

 

CHPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

E-voting refers to an election that involves the use of electronic means in at least the casting of the vote. Voting is a process that takes an important position in a democratic society. Recently, its adoption in institutions of higher learning among students for electing their leaders is gaining popularity as electronic voting (e-voting) brings to the polling station. Several advantages were noted in, such merits were listed as improved turn out, accessibility for impaired people, and improved accuracy and speed. The introduction of e-voting raises some of the same challenges faced when applying electronics to any other subject, for example e-government. It is a fundamental rite of individual to vote, as this is to prevent unwanted politicians from gaining access to the position of governance, choose new representatives, and take a stand on important issues. According to, democracy is more than votes – it is an expression of what one intends to do through documentation, campaigning and liaising with people in general. Through the long history of democracy, in the pursuit of power, some groups are willing to threaten voters in order to intimidate them; the only way to avoid intimidation is to adopt secret ballot system, this make threat during voting period to become useless.

The open rights group in 2007 opined that for an election to be considered free and fair, it is expected to meet some international standards; those listed include accuracy, security and verifiability. Also, voters are only allowed one anonymous ballot each, which they can mark in privacy.

For an election to withstand the test of time, it must be robust and be ready to withstand a variety of fraudulent behaviors. It must also be sufficiently transparent and comprehensible so that voters and losers can accept the results of the election.

Formerly when elections were made traditionally, organizers determine who is eligible to vote and who should not even move close to polling stations. This may involve a formal registration period or making a formal announcement of age of voters or other factors that may make one eligible to vote. Once the election begins, the administrator may validate the credentials of those attempting to vote. In contrary to the traditional way of voting, electronic voting is essential because it considers ways in which the polling tasks can be performed electronically without sacrificing voter privacy or introducing opportunities for fraud. In order to determine whether a system performs these tasks well, it is useful however, to develop a set of criteria for evaluating system performance. The criteria to be developed are such as accuracy, democracy, convenience, flexibility, privacy, verifiability and mobility. The adoption of e-voting in institution of higher learning is a welcome development as students would have the opportunity of electing their representative within a very short time with high degree of credibility. The proposed model therefore, focuses on evaluating the metrics that are considered as vital to any election system.

 

1.2STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

In online voting mechanism each voter receives a unique ballot code. The ballot code has an arbitrary length and is generated randomly to help prevent manipulation. Online voting system mails virtual ballot papers, including the ballot code, to the voters before the election. The voters can then use their email clients to return their votes to the voting server.

The voting server collects the votes and filters out duplicate and invalid votes. Each voter can then check her/his vote online to ensure that her vote has been counted correctly.

 

1.3OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The researcher embarked on this study to evaluate the performance of electronic voting system in the nation, also this research work will be able to tell if the e-voting system have been able to perform well in the electoral body system to  the nation.

 

1.5RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Due to the nature of this research work, the researcher constructed some of the following question as a means of obtaining information from the people, in regard to the performance of the system.

1.How reliable is the electronic voting model system over other manual system?

2.Do you think that the e-voting system can correct the missing votes of the citizens?

3.Do you find it easy and user friendly to cast your vote over the e-voting system than others?

4.How is the e-voting system performance over others in all aspect like errors, cost, speed, efficiency, corruption and lot more? 

5.Do you think that everyone can cast his/her vote cast over the e-voting system like in terms of illiterates?

6.What analysis do you have over this e-voting system?

 

1.4ADVANTAGE OF E-VOTING MODEL

Below is a list of the advantage of e-voting system model over other voting system.

1. Key benefits of electoral technology include accuracy, speed, efficiency and effectiveness.

2. Key challenges remain in the area of security, costs, sustainability, transparency and vendor dependence.

3. Trends are away from custom built systems for each EMB toward specialized vendors’ ready-made solutions.

4. As a consequence of short ICT life cycles, most equipment needs major upgrades or complete replacement between elections.

5. ICT equipment that was only put in place shortly before an election is likely still immature and has higher failure rates.

6. The initial purchase price of ICT systems can be expected to be only a fraction of the total cost of ownership over the equipment’s lifetime.

7. Highest ICT security levels are expensive; each EMB must determine how much security investment is needed, possible and justifiable.

8. Specialized election technology vendors offer an ever increasing range of services to EMBs, but also require EMBs to be aware of the challenges involved in dealing with these companies.

9. Voter education, public information and EMB staff expertise are important success factors for election technology implementations.

10. EMBs are expected to be accountable for the use of elections technology and need the ability to maintain ultimate oversight of the systems in place.

 

1.4.SCOPE OF STUDY

It is focused on studying the existing system of voting in Nigeria and to make sure that the peoples vote is counts, for fairness in the elective positions. This is also will produce.

•Less effort and less labour intensive, as the primary cost and focus primary on creating, managing, and running a secure web voting portal.

•In creasing number of voters as individuals will find it easier and more convenient to vote, especially in western society were life is a lot more regimented and programmed.

1.5.LIMITATION OF STUDY

Time factor, which is the greatest barrier to the successful completion of this exercise, I had financial constraints to traveling. The school is also a barrier to permission for exit to get my materials for this project.

 

1.6.DEFINITION OF TERM

EVS – On line electronic voting system

E-voting - Electronic Voting

INEC - Independent National Electoral Commission 

EVR - Electronic Voter Register 

PU- Polling Unit

ICT- Information and communication Technology

ECIL- Federal Election Commission

ES & S - Election systems & software

VVPAT- vote verifiable paper audit trails

PEB- Personal Electronic Ballot

PIN- Personal Identity Number

MBB- Mobile Ballot Box

JBC- judges Booth Controller


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