Verifiable voting put to the test
Verifiable voting technology developed by academics within Surrey Centre for Cyber Security (SCCS) has undergone its first successful external trials in partnership with Civica Election Services (formerly Electoral Reform Services).
The verifiable voting system developed by SCCS enables users to cast their vote electronically and then to verify that their vote has been correctly recorded. The system uses Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to ensure a transparent and tamper-proof record of the election, while maintaining the privacy of individuals’ votes.
Two external trials were conducted with the Royal College of Nursing and the College of Podiatrists, in addition to internal trials at both Surrey and Civica Election Services, which is the UK’s leading provider of election services. The Royal College of Nursing used the system in July for the election of its West Midland representative, with around 1,000 people voting.
In the external trials, not only did around half of voters take the opportunity to verify their vote, participants also gave excellent feedback on the system, saying that they liked the opportunity to vote in this way, found it easy and – crucially – felt reassured that the privacy of their vote was protected.
Professor Steve Schneider, Director of SCCS at the University of Surrey, said: "These trials show that our verifiable voting system works in real elections and that people find it easy to verify their votes. This demonstration of trust is an important step forward in the journey towards the adoption of secure and verifiable electronic voting."
Sian Roberts, Executive Director of Civica Election Services said: "It’s great to see this important project reach another key milestone with the first successful external trials. Civica Election Services has been at the forefront of digital democracy since running the first online voting project in the UK in 2000. We’re proud of our ongoing partnership with the SCCS on the development of verifiable voting technology to deliver trusted and transparent digital democracy."
Read about SCCS’s VOLT (Voting on Ledger Technologies) project.
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