Online voting system

8 August 2016

Kenya is democratic country. It is perceived to be charismatic one as it accommodates cultural, regional, economical, social disparities and still is able to stand on its own. Fundamental right to vote or simply voting in elections forms the basis of universities democracy. In universities, a student casts his/her vote to his/her favorite candidate by putting the stamp/tick against his/her name and then folding the ballot paper as per a prescribed method before putting it in the Ballot box. This is a long, time-consuming process and very much prone to errors.

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Voting is a crucial activity held after every one year in our beloved Meru University. This activity is managed by the office of dean of students and student’s body which is the authority ensuring that the activity runs smoothly and fairly. 1. 1 Background of the Study Meru university constitution provide every student irrespective of his/her religion, region, caste, color, economic status and sex the essential right to vote and elect his/her candidate to represent her/him. Hence voting can be termed as backbone of not just democracy in Kenya but all around Kenyan universities.

In Meru University voting takes place after every one year term and the student body ensures that this process goes nicely to the bottom and mostly things are done manually by the commission having to recruit the students to conduct the process. Basically the process takes only a single day and all is done. This makes it hard for students not on full time mode to come and cast their votes and then travel back to their respective destinations and at times their might be complexities of travel and work commitments. 1. 2 Problem Statement(s)

The problems of the existing manual system of voting include among others the following: 1. Expensive and Time consuming: The process of collecting data and entering this data into the database takes too much time and is expensive to conduct, for example, time and money is spent in printing data capture forms, in preparing registration stations together with human resources, and there after advertising the days set for registration process including sensitizing students on the need for registration, as well as time spent on entering this data to the database.

Too much paper work: The process involves too much paper work and paper storage which is difficult as papers become bulky with the population size. 3. Errors during data entry: Errors are part of all human beings; it is very unlikely for humans to be 100 percent efficient in data entry. 4. Above all, a number of voters end up being locked out from voting. 1. 3 Objectives The project aims at developing a management information system to computerize the voting activity in Meru University.

All data relating to the process will be stored in a centralized and secured database with a user friendly interface that will enable students to cast their votes to their favorable candidates. During this project identified voting regulations and requirements will be incorporated into the system and users guided on how they should vote. The system is designed to improve the current voting process in the following ways; •Allow students from any part of the country to vote. •Reduce the number of legitimate votes not counted, and eliminating vote tampering.

Improve the registration process by allowing voters to check their registration status prior to voting and centralizing registration databases. •Improve voter confidence and improve the voting experience. •The project will also ensure that data is secure from unauthorized access by implementing roles that will define who is allowed to log in and participate in voting, the application will implement user authentication to counter leaking of the process. A complete MIS will be developed, tested, documented and demonstrated to the stake holders. •Improves voter confidence in the poll results 1. 4 Scope and Limitation of the Study It is focused on the existing system of voting in Meru University and to make sure that the students vote counts, for fairness in the elective positions. This also will produce: •Less effort and less labor intensive, as the primary cost and focus primary on creating, managing, and running a secure web voting portal. •Increasing number of voters as students will find it easier and more convenient to vote, especially those studying outside the main campus 1. 5 Justification

The ONLINE VOTING SYSTEM shall reduce the time spend making long queues at the polling stations during voting. It shall also enable the students to vote from any part of the globe as explained since this is an online application available on the internet. Cases of vote miscounts shall also be solved since at the backend of this system resides a well developed database using MYSQL that can provide the correct data once it’s correctly queried. Since the voting process shall be open as early as possible, the students shall have ample time to decide when and whom to vote for.

Project Risk and Mitigation This project faces the following risks •Delay in completion •Shortfalls in budget •Hacking To address the above risks, the project will be implemented on a schedule that is abit flexible and with forecasted budget. The system will also have strong security measures that will only allow correctly authenticated users to access the system. 1. 7 Budget and Resources BUDGET ESTIMATION ITEMCOST Computer (Pentium 4, 2. 0 ghz,1 Gb RAM, 100 Gb Hard Disk30,000 Documenting project proposal 1,000 Stationery 500

Research costs ie internet access costs1000 TOTAL32,500 1. 8 Project Schedule The figure below shows the schedule of the project 1. 9 Conclusion This system is aimed towards easing the voting experience of Meru University students since the current manual system is tiresome CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2. 0 Introduction All computer specialists who have done work in or are interested in electronic voting seem to agree that online voting does not meet the requirements for public elections and that the current widely-deployed voting systems need improvement.

Voting on the Internet has disadvantages based on the areas of secrecy and protection against coercion and/or vote selling. It’s such a truly bad idea that there seems to be no credible academic effort to deploy it at all. The Kenyan General elections of 2007 brought national attention to problems with current methods of casting and counting votes in public elections. Most people believe that the current system should be changed; there is much disagreement on how such changes should be made. 2. 2 Literature review

Researchers have done work in electronic voting; while they may not explicitly mention voting from remote poll sites, their work is nonetheless relevant to any effort at designing or implementing a remote poll site voting system. Lorrie Cranor acknowledges the problems inherent in each kind of voting apparatus, but doesn’t make an overt recommendation on her site for one technology over the rest. Some other academicians like Peter Neumann focus on the immensity of the problem one faces when trying to design and implement a truly secure voting system.

They often remind us of Ken Thompson’s Turing acceptance speech and the fact that we really can’t trust any code which we did not create ourselves. Therefore, they tend to be extremely suspicious of proprietary voting machines and their makers who insist that we should “just trust [them]. ” Neumann gives a list of suggestions for “generic voting criteria” which suggests that a voting system should be so hard to tamper with and so resistant to failure that no commercial system is likely to ever meet the requirements, and developing a suitable custom system would be extremely difficult and prohibitively expensive.

A voting machine must produce human-readable hardcopy paper results, which can be verified by the voter before the vote is cast, and manually recounted later if necessary. David Chaum presents a very interesting scheme, whereby voters could get receipts for their votes. This receipt would allow them to know if their votes were included in the final tally or not, and to prove that they voted without revealing any information about how they voted. The security of this scheme depends on visual cryptography developed by Naor and Shamir, and on voters randomly choosing one of two pieces of paper.

Mercuri and Neumann advocate the use of this technique in electronic voting systems. 2. 3 Case Studies In the recent years, voting equipments which were widely adopted in many countries may be divided into five types 1. Paper-based voting: The voter gets a blank ballot and use a pen or a marker to indicate he want to vote for which candidate. Hand-counted ballots is a time and labor consuming process, but it is easy to manufacture paper ballots and the ballots can be retained for verifying, this type is still the most common way to vote. 2.

Lever voting machine: Lever machine is peculiar equipment, and each lever is assigned for a corresponding candidate. The voter pulls the lever to poll for his favorite candidate. This kind of voting machine can count up the ballots automatically. Because its interface is not user-friendly enough, giving some training to voters is necessary. 3. Direct recording electronic voting machine: This type, which is abbreviated to DRE, integrates with keyboard; touch screen, or buttons for the voter press to poll. Some of them lay in voting records and counting the votes is very quickly.

But the other DRE without keep voting records are doubted about its accuracy. 4. Punch card: The voter uses metallic hole-punch to punch a hole on the blank ballot. It can count votes automatically, but if the voter’s perforation is incomplete, the result is probably determined wrongfully. 5. Optical voting machine: After each voter fills a circle correspond to their favorite candidate on the blank ballot, this machine selects the darkest mark on each ballot for the vote then computes the total result. This kind of machine counts up ballots rapidly.

However, if the voter fills over the circle, it will lead to the error result of optical-scan. Recent years, a considerable number of countries has adopted E-voting for their official elections. These countries include; America, Belgium, Japan and Brazil. 2. 4 Conclusion Many countries have integrated other technologies with their voting system but none of those systems allows voters to vote from the comfort of their beds. My approach on this project is an idea that has been around for sometime but has never been tried, it a new dawn for voting systems. CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY Introduction

In this chapter, I will discuss the methodology that was used to implement online voting system. 3. 1 System Development Methodology The system was developed using the waterfall methodology 3. 1. 0 Overview The waterfall model is a software development model in which a system’s development is viewed as flowing downwards through the phases of the system development process The waterfall methodology is powerful, precise, and thorough. It has a number of phases that have to be implemented in a sequential manner as shown below. The phases which come under the waterfall method are as follows. •Requirement Analysis

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