VOTING FRAMEWORK FOR
and Tushabe Florence
School of Computing and IT,
P.O. Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda.
here are no public administration tasks more central to guarding democracy than providing for
elections that accurately reflect voters’ intentions and ensure public confidence
viewed as one of
the most important indicators
of democracy in a consensus
lectronic voting can be
one of the drivers of this democracy. The current Uganda
still leaves a gap for promoting dis
of the results
due to inadequate security
controls existing in
replace the existing framework
for free and fair elections in Uganda
based on the basic requirements of a secure e
voting framework, theoretical analysis of the
existing voting frameworks and expert’s opinions.
can be a stimulant for further
development and research especially those
interested in the subject.
democracy is the use of modern electronic communications and information technolog
instruments to empower peo
e to set agendas, establish priorities,
make important policies,
participate in their implementation and most importantly, to give the public leverage in self
governance through e
participation and e
voting is a term
which refers to various voting processes where computers
or digital devices
are used to count
and cast votes. It can also involve transmission of b
allots and votes via public networks.
ore, an electronic voting
framework is a voti
in which the election data is
recorded, stored and processed primarily as digital information.
voting has been
adopted by many private organizations such as corporations and banking
institutions to conduct their elections, and is increasing
ly used in the public sectors.
believed to have held the world’s first ever successful e
voting election (
Breuer and Trechsel,
voting was used in USA in March
when the Arizona Democratic Party h
primary elections (
) and Urbina (2007)
Other countries that successfully
Belgium, Brazil, Japan and India
These countries have yielded a lot of benefits out of e
ecrease of invalid votes
is divided into four sections: Section 1 is the introduction, Section
2 gives a more detailed background on
n terms of elections, there are various voting
frameworks used by different countries ranging
based to electronic. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages and
some might be considered
rer than others. These include Internet Voting framework,
voting framework, standalo
ne voting framework and mixed voting framework.
In this e
voting framework, voters are allowed to use a more genetic technology such as the
Internet, to register or cast their votes from any preferred place be it from the h
ome, from the
office or even from an Internet cafe while traveling abroad
dentification and authentication
: On the voting day, a registered voter activates the voting
erface to the web server
which requests for identification.
he voter identifies
himself/herself with a personal Login ID
and password, the system authenticates his/her identity
basing on the password and login ID. On confirmation, the voter
is required to
request for a
Certificate to allow him download an electro
nic voter form,
he fills in
and casts his
which is encrypted using his
private key. He
is then required to submit his
digital signature to
increase the security of the ballot data. The digital signature is provided by the Electoral Body’s
Certificate Server which is VERIFIED by the Certificate Authority (CA). The Digital Signature
is used to authenticate the identity of the Voter (the signer and sender of the vote), and possibly
to ensure that the original contents of the vote have not been
changed while on transmission to
the Database Server.
The results are then computed electronically and reports made about the
outcome of the voting process.
Standalone Voting Framework
This particular voting is
in India and is been adopted by
other developing and developed
It was first introduced
during an experiment
in the North Parur assembly
constituency in the State of Kerala,
In this framework,
are used. These machines are not connected to any network and do not share resources with any
other computers, which is an advantage as it can make the whole voting process more secure
compared to other voting frameworks.
Slightly bigger than a laptop, th
comes in a reusable carry pack, and can operate on a
battery power source in remote areas
which are the Control Unit that is
by the polling staff and the
balloting unit for use by the voters
Figure 1 shows an example
of the EVM. It can be observed that the two units are
joined by a five
supposed to be managed by a
Officer or a Polling Officer and the
Balloting Unit are placed inside the voting compartment.
The balloting unit
requires voters to
press the button next to the candidate’s name and symbol and the control unit records the vote.
Figure 1: The EVM machine
Instead of issuing a ballot paper, the Polling Officer in
charge of the Control Unit presses the
Ballot Button. This enables the voter to cast his vote by pressing the blue button on the Balloting
Unit against the candidate and symbol of his choice. The ma
chine presents a ballot, listing the
names of candidates horizontally. Each party's candidates are listed on its own line. Internal
counters are connected with each lever through straps in the back of the machine.
each vote is
cast, the counter records
one vote in the corresponding position. At the end of the voting, the
counters are read and the totals are manually recorded on a tally sheet.
This framework consists of the following
of the electoral forms
through a process of intensive revision
to collect the information about
This is also
an opportunity to update the records by including, deleting or modifying voter details.
This is done usi
ng the following steps:
presents voters’ ID to Polling Officer who is in
charge of the marked copy of the
for authentication, he then
the second p
serial number recording and signing
sign in the appropriate column in the
then presented with a
to the third polling officer,
the "Ballot" button on the
nit of v
machine and directs him
to the v
oting compartment where he
vote on the balloting unit of the voting machine.
e voting compartment, the voter
the blue candidate button
Balloting Unit against the name and symbol of the candidate of
he red lamp
name and symbol of that candidate
beep sound heard to i
ndicate that the
recorded and the
lamp goes off in the Control Unit.
: Then the polling officer presses the result button in the presence of all voters to reveal
the results. These results are recorded manually in the presence of all the parties’ agents and
sealed for the electoral
Voting in Uganda
Since Independence up to date
Uganda has been using the traditional voting framework. There is
no technology used in this type of voting and all election processes are conducted manually. The
voter picks the ballot paper
from the presiding officer and proceeds to mark it in secrecy at the
marking table. He uses a tick or a thumb print against the symbol or the picture of the candidate
of his choice and folds it. He then proceeds to the voting box and inserts the ballot pa
the slot at the top of the box. After this the voter goes to the presiding officer responsible for
marking voter’s thumb with indelible ink to show that he has already voted. The voter then
leaves the polling station and waits for the counting
of the votes which is also done manually
illustration of this process is
in Figure 2
Step 1: Paper
Step 2: Paper Folding
Step3: Paper Casting
Figure 2: Traditional Voting in Uganda
this voting framework
has failed to address problems associated with the threats and
failure to deliver election s
ervices to voters’ satisfaction.
It is associated with
inconsistencies, ballot box stu
ffing, bribery, voter i
ntimidations among other
ballot papers are expensive in terms of printing and distribution and they are only used once.
Also, one has to be physically present in order to vote.
The Electoral Commission in Uganda announced
a new voter registration system ahead of the
ntial and parliamentary elections scheduled for 2011 by the German firm called
Muelhbauer High Tech International
This system was supposed to have a
biometric system to do away with the problems found in the ballot
paper framework, i.e.
multiple registrations and voting by easily detect duplicates. The system
was supposed to
all fingerprints on both hands and
them in the voters’ databank. However, this system was
not delivered due logistical /political constraints and what was delivered so far still had some
problems associated with voter registers that have to be addressed. These are:
Names missing from the voters list. This includes those whose names were
the voter register but were missing on the voting day.
Names appearing multiple times in a single list or in multiple lists.
names of un
eople appearing on the list.
smatch between voter lists and e
lectronic Photo ID Cards.
anagement of specific urban issues like shifting of
environmental factors like rain which delayed some voters from registering because
had to be physically present in order to vote.
work has identified the loopholes in the e
voting system of Uganda and proposes to
improve on the current situation by
voting framework that can
applied to a
Uganda. First, a comparison of the existing voting frameworks was carried o
order to determine the shortfalls of each of the frameworks that are in place. Key e
identified and three of the available f
rameworks were analysed in respect to
compliance of these requirements. The results of this comparison are provided in Table 3 which
shows a tick for a positive
compliance and a dot for the reverse.
It can be seen that none of the
frameworks satisfies all
the key requirements for an e
Some frameworks do not offer guaranteed voter secrecy to protect the voter from
intimidation and also to prevent the selling of votes.
are not auditable
Some voting frameworks
are not secure enough and hence
do not protect their votes with
good standard practices such as digital signatures, checksums, or strong encryption
systems as the ballot data flows through the system.
based and manual voting system has no governed procedures to protect the
integrity of the vote and it is too costly in terms of time, manpower, ballot
and the government has to bear the financial expenses for these purposes.
Again the autho
rity itself may be corrupted and can allow some fake voters to participate
for example in standalone voting system whereby the polling agent activates the machine
for the voter, there is a possibility of that same agent to reactivate it again for the same
With the manual voting system, if any voter stays abroad or misses the registration
processes somehow due to prior obligations or unavoidable circumstances, he or she
wouldn’t be considered as a voter unless or until she/he informs the authority an
d in this
case most of the time people don’t show any interest upon this process.
Voters cannot verify whether their vote was included in the finally tally.
Frameworks’ Analysis against the Requirements on Ugandan basis
Security of the vote
wing the problems with
paper based voting
related to the
s, the followi
ng voting framewo
rk is suggested.
with unique features to provide the required solutions to the
identified problems. Data flow diagrams were used to design the framework and these represent
voter authentication process, voting
ess, and result tallying
The proposed framework suggests a new voters’ registration procedures based on ICTs. This is
aimed at improving the (
for Uganda. This framework begins voters’ registration process
with registering of all the citizens from birth and the profile kept in the population database. This
types of databases.
for all the citizens. The
population database should have two segments;
the primary segment containing voters below the age of 18 and the secondary segment
ng voters above 18 year.
for citizen of voting age.
The database system should be automated in such
way that, citizens are automatically migrated from the primary database to secondary database
when they become 18 years. As i
llustrated in Figure
The EC after every four years takes the
photographs and finger prints of the upgraded voters and provide
s them with voter’s IDs. This
goes down to LC level and supervised by the electoral officials.
Database for deceased citizens:
The system should automatically send the names of the
deceased to this database. These are filled in the system by system administrators and this
information is captured from the LCs. These take
collecting births and deaths
about all citizens in their respective villages and the issuing of births and deaths
certificates. These certificates are used at the national level to upgrade the population database.
This so advantageous from the current voting process
whereby voters a
re manually upgraded and
registered. It reduces the expense of manpower and paper used in registration.
: The Population Database
data including his photograph and finger print
are collected and kept in the EC
database. All voters should be issued with automated VoterIDs with a security number to be
inserted in the system on the voting day. This number reveals voter’s bio
data on insertion in the
oter authentication processes
Voter presents voter ID
Agent enters VoterID
VoterID is checked
biometric data including
photograph and finger print
System generates the secret Code for the
voter to vote
itizens below 18 years
Citizens above 18 years
photograph and finger prints
Deceased, lost citizenship, e.t.c
oters are authenticated by his/her voter’s ID number.
On entering the voters’ number, the
system automatically generates the unique serial number for the voter which he/she uses for
voting. This number is attached to the vote
r’s profile and is used once.
There are no
lining up, checking the voters’ registers for names and other related issues.
The flow of this
process is shown in Figure 5.
Figure 6: Voting Process
On the voting
, the voter enters the given serial number in the system and the system prompts
the voter to proceed. The system displays the list of voters for the voter to click on the candidate
of the choice. The system then prompts voter
to submit the ballot paper and
n doing so, the
choices of the voter are taken and recorded in the results database. The voting proc
ess is ended
by the system
voter and taking him back to the starting page.
This page is
printed by the system for the vote to confirm
that his/her vote has been taken.
Voter gets secret
Voter proceeds to voting
Voter enters Secret
Code in the system
Voter clicks on the
candidate of the choice
System confirms voter
System displays candidates
System congratulates voter and
takes voter back to first page
When the voter tries to reenter the same code for multiple voting the system rejects it by
revealing the denial message, which indicates the name, photo, and the finger print of the voter
who used the same code, the time h
e voted and the polling, the IP address of the computer used
and the polling station.
he flow of this process is shown in Figure
.1.4: Result transmission process
automatically counts and tallies the election results and summaries
all the election information and keeps it in the election log for auditing.
The number of voters per
constituency plus the number of votes each candidat
e gets per constituency is recorded
system indicates the number of voters each candidate has obtained from both genders in numbers
and percentages, and the name of the winner so far. The results screen changes whenever another
candidate gets exceeding votes. The results may be taken as
the final result but the electoral
commission governing body has the mandate to announce the official results.
User authenticated by username and
the results button
System reveals candidates with the
number of votes and perc
Results are projected
for public view
EC governing body announces the
has got some advantages over the
Improved security: The proposed
framework has considerable security
plans compared to
especially the aspect of identification and authentication for a
user. However, it may be more secure if voters’ cards are automated and improved
print voters’ secrete codes to avoid mistakes
The framework is flexible in such a way that, the voter may vote from
anywhere as much as he/she has a valid voterID number.
It eliminates the possibility of
invalid and doubtful votes
The designed framework
cannot easily be manipulated in favour of a
particular candidate compared to ballot
paper voting in that,
the system records the bio
data of every user who accesses
it and the activity he/she
has performed on it.
The framework cuts costs in terms of
printing and manpower since it is an internet
the framework has to be
protected from known computer insecurities like viruses,
worms, human and technical
is also adaptable, unique and results are easily availed to the various
stakeholders from the voters to the election officials.
Results can even be followed on the
Internet since the system automatically in
crements the tally as soon as a vote is cast.
It has been demonstrated that
a lack of an e
voting framework that can satisfy the
key requirements of an e
voting system. This work has proposed an e
voting framework that is
of fulfilling all the key e
voting requirements as outlined in this paper. The framework
consists of four major processes that together result in a more robust e
voting process. When
applied in real life, this process is capable of reducing on the election
mal functionalities and
work towards attainment of a free and fair elections in Uganda. It can improve e
overall expenditure on manpower and related logistics. It
further increases voter confidence in the enti
re electoral process as the voter can verify that
his/her vote has been used in the final outcome. The designed system uses existing technologies
which now available in Uganda to conduct free and fair elections that an e
voting system is
feasible and can b
e used in Uganda to yield credible election results leading to a free and fair
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