Feature Focus: Prevent Ballots from Being Marked as Spam

March 12, 2012

Not all of our Feature Focuses have to be about items you can implement to aid your election. This month I want to highlight something that’s done on our end to increase your voter turnout.

To prevent email ballots from being marked as spam in a voter’s inbox, we verify using DomainKeys and the Sender Policy Framework. While a lot of this is dependent on the recipient’s spam filter, the methods we undertake ensures you reach all of your voters, thus maximizing the opportunity for a successful voter turnout.

DomainKeys Identified Mail

DKIM is a method of connecting a domain name to an email. This allows the sender to take responsibility for a message in away that can be validated by a recipient.

The primary advantage of this system for e-mail recipients is it allows the signing domain to reliably identify a stream of legitimate email, thereby allowing domain-based blacklists and whitelists to be more effective. This is also likely to make some kinds of phishing attacks easier to detect.

Lots of tech-gobble and bits later, you realize it’s just a secure, verifiable mail man: someone you know that’s safe; someone you know that isn’t going to stuff your mail with anthrax.  To learn more about DomainKeys Identified Mail, please read this article.

Sender policy Framework

Sender Policy Framework, or SPF for short, is an email validation system put in place to prevent email spam. It verifies the sender’s IP addresses and it also allows the admin to specify which hosts are allowed to send mail from. ElectionBuddy uses Google as the host

To read up on Sender Policy Framework, please read this Wikipedia entry.

256-Bit Encryption

As I’m sure you’ve read on our site (it’s right on our homepage!), we use 256-bit encryption throughout the site. This is the same security that major banks rely on to keep your data safe in transit. While this has nothing to do with the email ballot, what good is having a verifiable way of sending an email with a link, if the site they are taken to isn’t secure itself? The more you know…

Alright, enough of the geek talk… let’s start running an election… and extremely secure one at that!

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