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E-voting: Who controls the e-electoral process?

Abstract

The use of information and communication technologies in the delivery of the electoral process has an inherent effect on the main characteristics of the election event. Effectively the electoral process goes through a "silent" re-engineering phase. This paper aims to demonstrate the redistribution of roles and responsibilities among the different related agents, analyse it from a procedural re-design perspective and examine how this "exchange of control over the voting process" affects the validity of its result. In our analysis we adopt a process stage approach of e-elections. We identify the main responsibilities of each agent per stage and then present them comparatively to the responsibilities that the same agents have in traditional paper ballot polling station voting, in order to indicate the exchange of responsibilities between agents in the new e-electoral process. Based on our analysis we explore some of the trust issues involved in the delivery of e voting.