The electronic voting process

Updated 30 Jul 2020

Electronic voting iconWhen you arrive at a polling place with electronic voting, you will be marked off the electoral roll by an official just as always - EVACS makes no attempt to automate the handling of the electoral roll.

You can then choose either to vote on paper or to vote electronically.

If you choose to vote electronically, instead of a ballot paper you will be given a unique e-voting card. Your e-voting card is taken from a set of pre-printed e-voting cards for your enrolled electorate. Because they are pre-printed, it is not possible to identify you from the QR code printed on the e-voting card. It does however identify your electorate and the polling place, and also contains a digital signature to prevent forgery.

You then move to an electronic voting booth. This resembles a normal cardboard voting booth but has a touch screen computer mounted in it (facing up so that it cannot be seen from outside the booth) and a bar-code scanner.

e-voting poster

Each voting screen has a poster with step-by-step instructions.

e-voting step 1

When you first arrive at the voting screen, the welcome screen should be displayed.

e-voting welcome screen

Choose your language by touching the language you wish to use. Scanning your e-voting card will confirm this selection and commence your voting process.

Once this happens, the computer confirms that the e-voting card is valid and informs the ballot box server using an HTTPS-based protocol that it is starting a vote.

e-voting step 2

The ballot box server replies with the Robson rotated version of the ballot paper showing the candidates for your electorate just as they appear on a ballot paper. The system is configured to display the entire ballot paper at this stage. Depending on the number of columns on the specific electorate ballot paper, this display may result in small sized lettering. You can then use the zoom functionality and the left-right scroll feature to increase the image size and navigate across your ballot paper.

Main e-voting screen

You select the candidates you wish to vote for by touching the candidate box next to the candidate name. You can correct mistakes by undoing the last selection or undoing all selections and starting again. A confirmation screen will be displayed before your vote is cleared.

e-voting step 3

Once you have marked all the candidates you wish to vote for, press NEXT. This will take you to the confirmation screen listing all of your selected candidates in order of preference.

e-voting confirm screen

You can press GO BACK to go back and change your preferences.

If you have not selected any candidates, a warning is displayed indicating that the vote will be informal if confirmed. You can press GO BACK to go back and select one or more candidates, or to register the informal vote you can press CAST AN INFORMAL VOTE.

e-voting Informal screen

To confirm your vote, scan the e-voting card again. The system will check that the e-voting card is the same as the one that was used to start the voting process.

e-voting step 4

If the e-voting card matches the one used to commence the vote, a confirmation screen will appear.

e-voting accepted screen

When the e-voting card is scanned for the second time, the vote is transmitted from the voter's machine to the ballot box server along with the QR Code information and a complete log of the screen presses during the voting session. The ballot box machine will check that the e-voting card is valid, and also double check that the screen presses recorded would result in the vote indicated - if anything does not check out an error is returned and the booth will display a screen asking you to seek an official for assistance. The rechecking of the screen presses means that the booth and ballot box validate each other for software bugs and memory errors. If everything is OK, the ballot box will store the vote and QR code in separate database tables on two mirrored drives. Once the vote is committed like this, the system notes that the e-voting card has been used and cannot be used again to cast a vote.

Place your e-voting card in the ballot box on your way out of the polling place.