6 KEY ASPECTS TO GUARANTEE A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS
- Written by EVoting Communications
- September 27th, 2022
EVoting's Operations Manager explains that electronic democracy must provide the same guarantees as traditional democracy.
Democracy is not a simple procedure, among other things, because the guarantees and legitimacy of each process must be guaranteed. In summary terms, this implies ensuring 6 key aspects: the secrecy of the vote, access to all those who have the right to vote, a reliable authentication system, the necessary background for an informed vote, the transparency that guarantees due process and the responsible handling of data.
Based on this premise, there are those who have questioned electronic democracy, pointing out that it does not guarantee these requirements. Felipe Lorca, EVoting’s Operations Manager, points out the opposite: “We agree that democratic processes must provide guarantees of seriousness and we have worked to respond to each of these requirements. Today we have proven solutions for each one of them”.
In this sense, he points out that its platforms guarantee the secrecy of the vote with its own voting software, which allows to constantly update and improve the security measures and with the use of asymmetric cryptography, which “allows to add up the individual votes without the need to open them individually, thus avoiding the possibility of knowing the option marked in each one”.
As for the authentication mechanisms, Lorca points out that they have developed different variants, “which offer a balance between a secure tool and a friendly voting system, guaranteeing that the person who votes is who he/she says he/she is”.
He adds that the processes are regulated by standardized and public protocols, which “guarantee the transparency, security and fairness of the process, such as the constitution of an Electoral Commission, the generation of cryptographic keys, voter registration, supervision of the voting process and a public scrutiny with immediate publication of results.
Regarding data privacy, Lorca refers to EVoting’s Privacy and Data Protection Policy, “which is public, respects the regulations in force and is structured around areas that address, among others, the use, safeguarding and retention of data, deletion of information, legal rights on personal data protection and dispute resolution”.
Finally, and regarding one of the most sensitive issues - information security - Lorca emphasizes that EVoting has a series of measures aimed at preventing and neutralizing events that may jeopardize the efficiency of its services, such as the monitoring of each process in real time by a specialized technical team, anti-hacking protection measures, supervision of access from IPs and the performance of an annual ethical hacking test, carried out by external security experts.
“One of our greatest prides is the opinion of our clients - who number around a thousand - because they are the ones who give proof of the trust generated by our platforms,” says Lorca. Here are some examples:
Rodrigo Vidal Rojas, Rector of the University of Santiago: “We have had a lot of confidence in the work developed by EVoting, so it has been an impeccable process”.
Rafael Palacios, former Secretary General SOFOFA: “The proprietary software, there is no possibility of altering the votes or taking them out. So it gives confidence, it gives security and, well, the counting is also automatic and infallible. That also gives you confidence.
Carlos Saavedra, Rector Universidad de Concepción: “a very positive experience (…) through these new mechanisms that guarantee the fundamental aspects of an election process: information, secrecy and integrity of the vote”.
Ileana Esquivel, Head of Communications of the Costa Rican Chamber of Construction: “We thought (the platform) was very secure and user-friendly (…) It had credibility, that is, the data came out at the moment, the platform’s response capacity was immediate, it was secure”.
José Manuel Dedios, Head of Corporate Affairs, Peruvian company Luz del Sur: “They have a platform where shareholders’ identity is verified beforehand, which is very important for us because (…) only afterwards they give them the access password. And a second identity verification, once the session has started”.
Arturo Zamora: IT&BI manager of the Chilean Chamber of Construction: “These are very reliable platforms, subject to international security standards. We ourselves certify the platform with the internal comptroller”.
Elisa Araya, rector of the Metropolitan University of Education Sciences: “It seems to me that the security levels were adequate and, in spite of that, they were not complex or complicated, they did not generate confusion, it was very well explained”.
Sara Baccaglio, Head of Information Technology at the University of Costa Rica: “My area is technology, so I think that through these encryption mechanisms, also giving people access to logs, and the legal protection behind the procedures used, the risk is minimized. It is impossible to guarantee zero risk, but we also have that the risk that some vulnerability may occur is minimized through the technological mechanisms and the procedures and algorithms implemented in the system, and this somehow guarantees that transparency”.
Fernando Ureña, Secretary of the Electoral Tribunal, Costa Rican Nurses Association: “I was struck by the platform, I could see the participation of the voters, that is something very new and that generates a lot of reliability in the system”.
Luciano Rivas, Governor of La Araucanía: “I was struck by the way in which the data was kept encrypted and how they enabled the keys that we later had to hand over to get the results. I think these are milestones that gave the process transparency and credibility, which is important for it to have”.