by on October 29, 2020

Electronic voting refers to the use of electronic machines in order to handle the tasks of casting and counting votes. Contingent on the specific implementation, e-voting may comprise a variety of internet amenities, starting from simple data transmission to complete online voting with the help of the connectable household gadgets. The extent of automation of electronic voting may differ from handling basic tasks to a comprehensive solution that encompasses voter registration and authentication, precinct tallying, data encryption, data transmission, vote consolidation, and election administration. There are various types of electronic voting used globally. The technology employed by the machines is the primary method that is used for classifying the different voting systems. This paper evaluates the kinds of voting machines that are already available, where they have been used, and the level of safety.

Kinds of Voting Machines

DRE Systems

These initials stand for the direct recording electronic system. They use a keyboard, a touch-screen, a pen and other electronic devices that permit a voter to record their vote electronically. DRE systems are utilized in the polling station to capture and register the vote of the electorate in the gadget. The data obtained from every voter is being subsequently transmitted by either electronic means or manually to get the whole number of votes cast for different parties and candidates. These systems produce paper records to enable voters to verify their selections but not in all instances. The paper document is often referred to as voter verified paper audit trial (VVPAT).

DRE systems that have the option of VVPAT are regarded to be better, as compared to those that do not have the option, since they offer greater transparency to the electorate. Also, the DRE systems with VVPAT offer election management institutions with a platform to audit the outcome of an election or conduct a recount of votes. Nevertheless, the DRE systems with VVPAT introduce new technological complexity into the process that may result in bigger challenges for the election management bodies due to the reliability of devices, the training of staff and sustainability of the entire system. Also, they may cause some additional issues for voters that are not familiar with IT.

Electronic Ballot Printers

EBPs operate the same way as DREs, since the voter utilizes a DRE interface as they make the choices. Nonetheless, unlike DRE systems, an electronic ballot printer does not store the election data. Instead, it generates a token that is containing the voting data. The voter subsequently takes this token and puts it into a ballot box that then counts all of the votes automatically. EBPs are relatively easier to use and more friendly to the electorate, as compared to DRE systems. They comprise of a ballot printer that records the vote and a ballot scanner that tallies the votes. Some EBPs have the option of VVPAT, while others do not have it. These machines provide the chance of recounting the votes when the outcome of an election is contested. However, since they comprise of two different devices, they are expensive, they need greater IT capacity, and encounter more obstacles to guaranteeing sustainability, as compared to other voting machines.

Optical Mark Recognition

OMR voting machines blend all the features of paper voting and electronic voting. A person utilizes a pen to mark their choice on a special machine paper ballot. The vote is subsequently read by a device that counts the votes. There are two methods of tallying the votes using this system. First, the votes can be counted at the polling station or at a central location, where votes from different polling stations are counted at the same time. OMR voting machines offer a better chance for recounts than DREs and EBPs without VVPAT. Also, they are cheaper than the two other systems.

Internet Voting System

This voting scheme allows the voters to cast their votes using a computer that has an access to the web. Internet voting occurs in unsupervised remote locations. It can also occur in supervised areas, where the election bodies offer internet kiosks at polling stations. This system offers a better access and convenience, as compared to all the other systems. For example, it allows people with disabilities with the opportunity of voting away from the polling stations that may have numerous people. Nevertheless, internet voting from unsupervised location necessitates voter authentication to prevent impersonation. This system may not provide the option for recounting votes

Electronic voting machines are manufactured by independent firms, such as ES&S and honest ballot association. These organizations sell the voting machines around the world. As of 2014, ES & S was the biggest producer of electronic voting machines in the U.S. During the same year, the company has installed over two hundred and sixty thousand voting systems and offered services to approximately seventy-five thousand elections. HBA offers the entire range of electronic services. The company is renowned for its secure services. The company also monitors the election proceedings to determine whether the election was fair and accurate.

Areas in Which the Voting Machines Have Been Used

Electronic voting machines have primarily been used in developed countries, like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Nevertheless, developing economies, like India and Brazil, have also used the electronic voting machines. However, the level of automation and kind of the electronic voting machines used varies by country. A recent study shows that approximately thirty-one nations around the world have implemented non-remote voting machines.


Internet voting is the most susceptible to hacking threats. Since it is conducted online, hackers may utilize this platform in order to illegally access the voting data and change it based on their preferences to get paid for it. The threat of hacking is increasingly evident in situations where the clients vote from their homes using their personal internet connection. It is relatively easier for hackers to hack voting data when customers vote from home, as compared to when they vote from a designated internet kiosk in a polling station. This is because the electoral bodies can enforce the security measures on the network used in internet kiosks which individuals voting at home cannot. The software utilized by DRE, EBP, and OMR systems is black box, implying that it is closed to the public. Even though this approach is intended to enforce security and prevent fraud, the companies can manipulate the software to display fraudulent results. Particularly, when no VVPAT are available, the results of an election cannot be proved to be legitimate.

Advancing technology has allowed for the development of electronic voting systems. These systems have had a great impact on the election process, since they have significantly simplified the process and decreased the time taken to complete the election. This is because they allow automatic capture and counting of voting data. Independent organizations produce various kinds of electronic voting machines to be sold to the government and other institutions. Nevertheless, there are various concerns regarding the use of electronic voter machines. DRE, EBP, and OMR systems software can be compromised and the results can be altered. Internet voting is liable to hacking threats, since it is conducted online. The relevant education regulatory bodies should take the appropriate measures to ensure that the data integrity is enhanced in the electronic voting machines. This move will provide a platform for election contestants to view the correct data after the elections have been completed.

The article was written by professional writer Eshley Durst, she specializes in writing papers about technology and technological process, more her articles you can find at

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