As David Bismark says in his presentation in Ted on July 2010:
“so there are a few things that bring us humans together in the way that an election does”
Elections bring many people together to vote. As we all expect, elections should be fair. Sadly many people search a way to cheat on the elections so that the results are favoring or disfavoring one of the parties. Many methods have been developed to “avoid” any kind of fraud. The problem is, they all are based on the same basis.
Now a days, the common way to vote is:
- You give your ID to the registration table
- They give you the voting forms
- You vote
- You put your vote in a box where the rest of the votes are
- Your vote gets mixed with the rest of the votes
- You pick your ID and you leave
After the voting time is over, all the votes are counted one by one. Later, all votes are summed and the result is given.
The way that most of the people cheat, is by counting the votes wrong. That means, instead of counting the point for party A (the winner of that specific vote), they count it to party B.
Another way that people cheat is by making fake votes. That means they use the name or the fake ID from a person that is already dead or they know that person is not going to vote, and make a vote for the party they want to support.
With this system of voting, you cannot verify if the votes were all counted, correct counted, and so on. Meaning, that might be that your vote was either not counted or counted for the opposite party.
David Bismark proposed a new system of voting. This new system is verifiable, that means anybody can check if the election was done without fraud. The questions are how? is it still anonymous?
First let’s see how the voting form looks like. Every voting form has different order, meaning: Form 1 has the candidate list in the following way: A, B, C, D Form 2 has the candidate list in the following way: C, A, D, B Form 3 its like this: D, A, B, C and so on.
The form has a perforation in the middle so you can tear it. On one side you have the candidates list and on the other you have the voting space and also a 2D bar code. This bar code is used for knowing which form type did you use.
So the procedure is:
- You vote
- You tear along the perforation
- Your shred the candidate list
- You scan your other half of the paper (with your vote and bar code)
- You take your voting paper to your house
Why do you bring your voting paper to your house? Well, with that paper, you can verify through Internet that your vote was registered and counted.
To answer the first two questions: how? is still anonymous? Well, how would anybody check if the election was made without fraud? Every body checks it’s own vote and verifies if its the right one and if its not missing. And of course it will be anonymous because every vote does not contain the name nor the candidates list.
There is no way people can cheat, because the votes are counted automatic by a computer. No hacker would be able to change the values because they do not know the cryptography that is on the bar code.
It would be interesting if any government gives this new system a try.
But until that is not implemented, we will just have to hope that our votes are counted correctly and nobody makes the election a fraud.