How To Improve Election Security In Your Organization

April 20, 2022

Online elections have advantages and disadvantages, with one of the main concerns being election security. 

Additionally, online elections can save your company a great deal of time and money. However, some members of your organization might question their integrity.

This blog post will discuss some ideas to help you improve election security in your organization when voting on important matters. 

Online Voting Systems And Election Security

It's essential to understand how online voting systems work to assess their security. In general, there are three types of online voting systems:

  • Centralized systems: In these systems, a central authority tallies the votes. It is the most common type of system used by organizations like the United Nations.
  • Decentralized systems: Each voter has a copy of the election software in these systems. This system is more secure than centralized systems but can be more expensive to set up and maintain.
  • Hybrid systems: These systems combine aspects of both centralized and decentralized systems. For example, a central authority may tally votes, but each voter may also have a copy of the election software.

No matter which type of system you use, you can take some general steps to improve election security.

How To Improve Election Security In Your Organization?

To improve the security of online voting, you must use strong encryption, identity verification, tamper-resistant hardware, and third-party verification. Let’s discuss these now.

Use Strong Encryption

All communications between voters and the election server should be encrypted. For example, we use 256-bit encryption to secure our ballots, the same level of security offered by major banks, which also protects against eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks. 

Verify Identities

It's crucial to make sure that only eligible voters can cast their votes. There are several ways to do this, such as digital signatures or voter identity confirmation via a physical postcard. 

A physical postcard is generally more secure, as it is more difficult to forge, especially when there are many voters, such as during student council elections.

Use A Trusted Third Party

If possible, have a trusted third party oversee the election. This third party can help guarantee the integrity of the election by verifying that individuals cast their votes correctly and that no fraud occurs. 

Some online voting systems—such as ours—offer independent election verification, where a third-party accountant ensures the fairness of your elections.

Monitor For Anomalies

Watch for election anomalies by looking at things like voting patterns and comparing them to previous elections. If anything seems out of the ordinary, investigate it further. 

For example, if there is a sudden spike in voter turnout from one particular location, it could indicate fraud. But keep in mind that this data-driven consideration might not be possible when there are few voters, such as during the company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) election.

Audit The System

After the election, it's essential to audit the system. It is critical to count all votes correctly by comparing the election results with a paper trail.

Use Tamper-Resistant Hardware

If possible, use tamper-resistant hardware such as cryptographic tokens to store voter information, protecting your election against tampering and malicious software.

Tips For Implementing An Online Voting System In Your Company

Now that we've looked at some general tips for improving online voting security let's look at advice for implementing an online voting system in your company.

Work With A Reputable Provider

First and foremost, it's vital to work with a reputable provider. Many providers are out there, but not all are created equal. Be sure to do your research and choose a provider known for offering secure and reliable elections.

Get Input From All Stakeholders

Before implementing an online voting system, get input from all stakeholders, including employees, shareholders, and anyone else who will be affected by the system. This effort will help get everyone on board with the new system and prevent surprises.

Test The System

Test the system thoroughly before using it for an actual election, including testing things like security, usability, and accessibility. Then, once the system is up and running, make sure you train employees on using it, ensuring that the election goes smoothly.

Plan For Contingencies

As with any election, it's crucial to plan for contingencies, including power outages and technical problems. So be sure to have a plan in place to handle these situations!

Final Thoughts

Elections are a vital part of organizations, from the federal government to local student councils. You can take several steps to improve election security, even when using online voting systems. Check out Election Buddy today, so your voters’ voices count!

Register for your own ElectionBuddy account and set up a free test vote! Feel free to reach out to the team at support@electionbuddy.com with any questions or explore ElectionBuddy’s Help Center.

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