There are many different solutions and technologies to be used in the election process. In the following we provide a short not exhaustive list of definitions of e-voting, certain technologies and solutions which can be used in the election process at different stages. This list is a growing project and we welcome your inputs, comments and suggestions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Identification of voters
- Casting the vote
- Counting the vote
In a narrow understanding e-voting means the use of electronic means (ICT) in at least the casting of the vote (CoE Rec(2004)11).
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Internet voting or online voting is often described as remote electronic voting, it describes the possibility to cast the vote over the Internet. The vote is cast in an uncontrolled environment. Such voting channels have been already used in various elections and in political election in Estonia, Switzerland as well as Norway.
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Kiosk Voting is the electronic casting of the vote outside of a polling station in an uncontrolled environment on a voting computer for example in shopping malls or army bases.
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Electronic voting machines of EVMs are used in the polling station. The vote is cast on a touch-sensitive screen of a voting computer or via a keyboard. Some EVMs provide the voter with a paper receipt of the cast vote. EVMs are currently used in countries like USA, Brazil and India.
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Optical Scanning Machines or OSM are scanning the ballot paper. After the successful scanning, the vote is counted electronically but the paper ballots are still present for a possible manual recount. Some OSM devices display the scanned results to the voter and ask for her/his confirmation before storing the electronic vote. Such technologies are currently used in the USA and the Philippines.
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Electronic voter registration means, the voters will be registered in an electronic procedure. This technology is used when the voters’ list can not be generated based on a central citizen register. Nowadays, biometric data is collected in such electronic voter registration processes. These procedures are currently used in a few african states.
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Electronic counting or e-counting means the use of electronic means to count the votes. High-end scanning machines are used to scan and count the ballot papers. These scanning devices are setup in counting centers. Currently such technology is used in Scotland and London in Great Britain.