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IT 11 063

Examensarbete 15 hp
Augusti 2011

Online Election System


A proposed system for Pakistan
Abdul Aziz

Institutionen fr informationsteknologi
Department of Information Technology

Abstract
Online Election System - A proposed election system
for Pakistan
Abdul Aziz

Teknisk- naturvetenskaplig fakultet


UTH-enheten
Besksadress:
ngstrmlaboratoriet
Lgerhyddsvgen 1
Hus 4, Plan 0
Postadress:
Box 536
751 21 Uppsala
Telefon:
018 471 30 03
Telefax:
018 471 30 00
Hemsida:
http://www.teknat.uu.se/student

In the new era of advanced technology where online system boosts work speed,
reduces mistakes and promote the generation of accurate results, having manual
election system becomes a misfortune. A public election system constitutes the
backbone of a democracy where the people has to elect their states leader. Pakistan
currently uses a manual election system, which causes several kinds of problems. Due
to this paper ballot based election system, some problems are faced by voters before
or during elections and others are faced by the administration before and after the
voting. An online system, which involves procedures like registration of voters, vote
casting, vote counting, and declaring results etc. would constitute a good solution to
replace current system The system proposed in this thesis will be helpful for the
voters by using any resources like their own system or arranged by Government.
Moreover, the proposed system will also decrease the risk for corruption. The
system is proposed after interviewing officials of two departments, the Nation
Database and Registration Authority Pakistan(NADRA) and the Election Commission
of Pakistan (ECP). NADRA has an online database of the citizens of Pakistan, and is
providing the Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC) and also supporting
different organizations with their online system. So, by using NADRAs system it
becomes easy to register all voters of the age 18 or above, and furthermore to verifiy
their data. From this background officials suggest that an online election system will
be best system to replace the current electoral system, and in this thesis I have
proposed the basic structure and functionality for such a system.

Handledare: Shahid Manzoor


mnesgranskare: Lars Oestreicher
Examinator: Anders Jansson
IT 11 063
Tryckt av: Reprocentralen ITC

Preface

This report is study for Master of Science mini thesis, carried out from
January 2011 to March 2011 in Uppsala University, Sweden. The study is
about how to introduce an Online Election System for Pakistan. The main
purposeofthisthesisistosuggestadesignofasystemwhichcouldreplace
current manual system and facilitate voter as well as the Election
CommissionofPakistanduringtheelections.
In this study I tried to cover the problems confronted by voters, officials,
politicalparties,andGovernmentduringelectionsandtosuggestasystem
to ensure the security from fraud during elections and to facilitate a safe
and rapid counting of votes afterwards. I designed prototypes of a part
fromsystem.

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Acknowledgement

Thisworkcouldnotbecompletedwithoutthesupport,cooperation
andguidanceofmanypeople.
IwouldliketothankMatsLindcoordinatorofInformaticsandmedia
departmentandLarsOestreicher supervisorofthisstudyforprovided
me the opportunity to work with this interesting topic, and the
brilliantsupervision.
I thank also the officials of National Database and Registration
Authority Pakistan [NADRA] and Election Commission of Pakistan for
their kind cooperation in retrieving information required for this
study.
Finally,Iwanttothankmyfamilyandallmyfriendsforalwaysbeing
there.

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Contents

Preface_______________________________________________________________________2
Acknowledgement______________________________________________________________3
Contents______________________________________________________________________4
ListofFigure___________________________________________________________________6
1.

Introduction______________________________________________________________7
1.1 Purpose______________________________________________________________7
1.2 Objective_____________________________________________________________7
1.3 ResearchQuestions_____________________________________________________8
1.4 Background___________________________________________________________8

2.

GovernmentStructureofPakistan ____________________________________________9
2.1 ElectoralSystem ______________________________________________________10
2.2 QualificationofVoter__________________________________________________11
2.3 ManualVotingSystem _________________________________________________11

3.

ResearchInstrument______________________________________________________13
3.1 Interviews ___________________________________________________________13
3.1.1

PurposeofInterviews______________________________________________13

3.1.2

SelectionofInterviewSubjects_______________________________________13

3.1.3

StudyInstruments_________________________________________________14

3.1.4

Interviewing______________________________________________________14

3.2 ResultsandAnalysis ___________________________________________________14


3.3Summaryoftheinformationpubliclyavailable.______________________________15
3.3 LiteratureStudies _____________________________________________________17
3.3.1

Electronicvoting __________________________________________________17

3.3.1.1 Machinecounting _________________________________________________17


3.3.1.2 Computervoting__________________________________________________18
3.3.1.3 Onlinevoting_____________________________________________________18
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4.

FindingandRecommendation_______________________________________________20
4.1 Finding(Limitationincurrentsystem)_____________________________________20
4.2 Recommendations ____________________________________________________20
4.2.1

CurrentITResources_______________________________________________21

4.2.2

SecureDatabases _________________________________________________22

4.2.3

DesigningPrototype _______________________________________________23

4.2.3.1 FirstPage:Logintoyouraccount _____________________________________24


4.2.3.2 SecondPage:SelectionofLanguage___________________________________24
4.2.3.3 ThirdPage:SelectcandidatesofNationalAssembly ______________________25
4.2.3.4 FourthPage:VoteforcandidatesofProvincialAssembly __________________26
4.2.3.5 LastPage:Submitvote _____________________________________________27
5

Discussion_______________________________________________________________28

Conclusion______________________________________________________________30

References___________________________________________________________________31
Appendex1__________________________________________________________________32
Transcribedformofinterview_______________________________________________32
Appendex2__________________________________________________________________34
Transcribedformofinterview_______________________________________________34

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ListofFigure

2.1

CurrentManualElectionSystem___________________________________________12

3.1

InformationonthefrontsideComputerizedNationalIdentityCard(CNIC)__________16

3.2

InformationonthebacksideComputerizedNationalIdentityCard(CNIC)__________16

3.3

Machinereadableballotpaperandcountingmachine__________________________17

3.4

Touchscreen&otherelectronicvotingmachine_______________________________18

3.5

stepstocastavoteinvotingmachine_______________________________________19

4.1

PurposeSecureDatabasesystem___________________________________________22

4.2

FirstPage:LoginPageofproposedonlineelectionsystem_______________________23

4.3

Secondpage:selectionofLanuage__________________________________________24

4.4

Thirdpage:selectionofCandidatesofNationalAssembly_______________________25

4.5

Fourthpage:selectionofCandidatesofProvincialAssembly_____________________26

4.6

Lastpage:submitionofvote_______________________________________________27

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1. Introduction

Democracy is an important matter in most modern societies. One of the most important
activitieswithinademocracyistheelectionofrepresentatives.Itisalsoaverydelicateprocess
thatisthesubjectofvariousdisturbances,suchasinactivecitizens,attemptsoffraudetc.Inthis
thesis I will discuss some of these problems, starting from the current democratic situation in
Pakistan.Iwillalsoproposeasoftwaresolutiontotheproblemintermsofaprototypethatwill
displaythemostimportantaspectsofthisproblem.

1.1

Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to boost the turnout of votes. For this purpose we have to
viewalltheaspectsresponsibleforlowturnout.Somepeoplehesitatetovoteduetoweather
conditions in different areas during the election, youngsters of age group 18 24 having no
charmtocastthevote.Peoplewhoareoutsideoftheirtown/citydontwanttocometotheir
areaforjustcastingthevotesduetotheexpensesandtroubleoftransportation.Samesituation
isalsoforthosewhoareondutyduringtheelection,theydonthaveanyinteresttocasttheir
voteduringjobortheydonthavefacilitytosubmittheirvote.
Asecondpurposeistomakeitmoredifficulttocommitfraudandcheatingduringanelection.
Inamanualsystem,sometimespeopleareregisteredinmorethanoneareaandcanthuscast
thevotemultipletimes.Bycreatinganonlinedatabasecoveringthecountryitwillbepossible
to eliminate the double casting of votes. In some areas, officials of the Election Commission
themselvescastvotesandaftertheendofelectiontheyadjustthesevotesfromthevoterslist.
Hence,theymanipulatetheresultoftheelection.Thereisclearlyaneedofasystemthatcould
reducetheauthorityofofficialsandcouldsustainthetruenatureofvoting.Itwouldalsogive
peopleoptionstocastanemptyvoteiftheydontliketogivethevotetoanyofthecandidates.
PeopleinPakistanarewellawareofavailableonlineservicesand,fromthelastfewyearsthe
useofinternethasincreased.Youngstershavedevelopedinterestinusinginternetforvarious
purposes.
After looking above factors, the decision for online voting is more natural than before. The
expenditure of an election will be decreased and it will cover people of all ages. It will be a
facilityforthepeoplewhohavedifferentproblemssuchasmentionedearlier.

1.2

Objective

The aim of the study is to analyze the current election system and suggest an online election
system which will allow people to cast votes in a more convenient way, by using available
resourceswhichcouldfacilitatethevotersduringelections.
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1.3

ResearchQuestions

Inthisstudywewilltrytofindouttheanswersofthefollowingquestion:
1. IsanonlinevotingsystemabetterreplacementofcurrentmanualsysteminElectionsof
Pakistan?
2. Whydovotershesitatetocastthevoteincurrentsystem?

1.4

Background

Inademocracy,theelectorateexpressesitswillthroughtheelectionofrepresentatives.These
elected representatives operate the country, on behalf of the politic body. In order for the
representatives to appropriately represent and implement the demands of the people, the
electionsinwhichtheyareelectedmustbeheldfairlyandresultscomputedaccurately.
Inthelastelection,heldinFebruary2007,totalturnoutofvoteswasjust44%.Thisisbecause
voters face problems not only during the elections but before the elections as well. Before
conducting the elections, there is a formal procedure of voter registration, which is the main
challengeforthevotersandfortheofficialsofElectionCommission.
ObservingthehistorywededucethatPollingSystemsbasedonhandrisinghadjustaproblem
withsecurity(electionswerenotanonymous).InsteadaPaperbasedPollingSystemhasatleast
threeproblems(discussedbelow).TheparadigmshiftfromHandbasedPollingSystemtoPaper
basedPollingSystemiscausedduetopopulationgrowthwhereas,now,timeandsafetyareso
important that it has driven a new paradigm shift from Paper to Electronic. There is no
defendable reason to stick with Paper Polling System, but there are many security reasons to
encouragetheuseanewElectronicPollingSysteminordertodrawuppollingsystemstodigital
era.

InPakistanscurrentPaperPollingSystem,therearesomeothertroublesaswellapartfromlow
turnout of votes, by looking at those problems, it is necessary to build a system which could
solvethoseproblemsandspeeduptheelectionsystem.
1. Speed: Hand counting votes is time consuming especially in most populated countries
likePakistan,wheremanycandidatesareforsamepositionandvoterhastocastvote
formanyraces.
2. Intelligibility: When a system based on pens, stamps, punch cards or ballot papers is
usedforvotinginaPaperbasedPollingSystem,theresultcanbeambiguous.
3. Accessibility: Disabled or dutybound people do not have an easy access to the poll
booth,butaneasilytouchablesystemwillhelpthemtocasttheirvote.
4. Transparency: Chances of manipulation of the results from influencing authorities will
almostbefinished.
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2. GovernmentStructureofPakistan

In Pakistans Government Structure, the President is the Chief of the State and the Prime
Minister is Head of Government. Pakistan has a bicameral Parliament (MajliseShoora)
consistingofasenatewith100seatsandaNationalAssemblywith342seats.[1]

SenateAssembly
Province/Area

GeneralSeats

Seatsreservedfor

Total

Women

TechnocratsandUlema

FederalCapital

Punjab

14

22

Sindh

14

22

KhabarPakhtoon

14

22

FATAs

Balochistan

14

22

Total
66
17
17
100
[2]
DistributionofseatsinthesenateAssembly,displayedbyProvince .

NationalAssembly
Province/Area

GeneralSeats

Seatsreservedfor
NonMuslims

Total

Women

FederalCapital

Punjab

148

35

183

Sindh

61

14

75

KhaiberPakhtoon

35

43

FATAs

12

12

Balochistan

14

17

10

Total
272
10
60
332+10=342
DistributionofseatsoftheNationalAssembly,displayedbyProvince[3].

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Intheprovincialgovernment,theGovernoristherepresentativeofFederalGovernmentinthe
province,andtheChiefMinisterisheadoftheProvincialAssembly[4].

ProvincialAssemblies
Province/Area

GeneralSeats

Seatsreservedfor
NonMuslims

Women

Total

Punjab

297

35

183

Sindh

130

29

168

KhaiberPakhtoon

99

22

124

Balochistan

51

11

65

Total
577
23
128
DistributionofseatsforeachProvincialAssembly[5].

728

In order to decentralize authority to the Local Governments for accountability, for good
governance and effective delivery of services through institutionalized participation of the
peopleatgrassrootlevel,electionstothelocalgovernmentinstitutionsareheldevery4years[6]

CategorywiseseatsinaUnionCouncil
SINo. Category
1.

Nazim/ Convener / Mayor

2.

NaibNazim/AssistantConvener/AssistantMayor

3.

GeneralCounselor

4.

LabourCounselor

5.

LadyCounselor

6.

LadyLabourCounselor

7.

MinorityCounselor

2.1

Numberofseats

Total:
Categorywisenumberofseatsinaunioncouncil[7].

13

ElectoralSystem

ThePresidentiselectedforatermof5years.TheElectoralCollegeconsistsofmembersofthe
Senate, the National and the Provincial Assemblies. The Prime Minister is elected by the
NationalAssembly.
Senate members are elected for a term of 6 years. In the National Assembly, members are
electedbypluralityinsinglememberconstituenciestoservefora5yearterm.
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In the Provincial Assemblies the members are elected for a term of 5 years, and the Chief
MinisteriselectedthroughtheProvincialAssembly.
Electionstothelocalgovernmentinstitutionsareheldafterevery4years.MembersofUnion
Council including Union Nazim (Union Mayor) and Naib Union Nazim (Assistant Union Mayor)
are elected through direct elections. The Electoral College for the election of a District Mayor
andthereservedseatsofwomen,peasantsandworkersandMinoritiesintheDistrictCouncil
shallbeallthemembersofUnionCouncilsinthedistrictincludingUnionMayorandAssistant
UnionMayor.TheElectoralCollegefortheelectionofaTehsilMayor,TownMayorandreserved
seatsofwomen,peasantsandworkers,andminoritiesintheTehsilCouncilandTownCouncil
shallbeallthemembersoftheUnionCouncilsinTehsilor,asthecaseinTown,includingUnion
MayorsandAssistantUnionMayors.However,fortheelectiontothereservedseatsforWomen
in Zila council (City Council) proportionately divided among Tehsils or Towns shall be all
membersoftheUnionCouncilsinaTehsilorTown.ItistheresponsibilityoftheChiefElection
Commissionertoorganizeandconducttheseelections.[8]

2.2

QualificationofVoter

Everypersonwhois18yearsoldandhasaNationalIdentitycardiseligibletocastavote.Heor
shemusthaveapermanentortemporaryaddressinPakistan.Onthebehalfofthisaddress,he
cancastthevoteinaparticulargeographicarea[9].

2.3

ManualVotingSystem

InthecurrentElectionSystemthevotingismanual.PeoplegotothePollingboothsallocatedby
theElectionCommissionofPakistanineveryarea.TheElectionsfortheNationalAssemblyand
theProvincialAssembliesheldonthesameday.Twoballotpapersareissuedtoeveryperson
aftercheckingtheidentityofthevoterandVoterNumber(issuedbytheElectionCommissionof
Pakistan).Itisnecessaryforeachvotertoregisterforthecurrentelectionbeforetheelectionon
datesgivenbytheElectionCommissionofPakistan.
The data collection system is also manual and the Election Commission sends their
representatives to each home before the Election. The representatives distribute registration
formsateveryhomeandafterafewdaystheycollecttheforms.Butthereisnowaytosend
information to voters, either which voter number is used by the Election Commission, or a
confirmationoftheregistration.Somepeoplecannotcasttheirvotesduetofalseregistrations
orpeoplemakingmistakesinthenamesinthelistsorintheIDnumberetc.
During the Election for the National and the Provincial Assembly, each Assembly has its own
ballotpaperwithlistofcandidates.IntheelectionoftheUnionCouncilballotpapersaresame
forNazimandNaibNazim,theGeneralandtheLabourCounsellor,theLadylabourandtheLady
Counselor. So everyone gets four ballot papers during the elections of the Union Council
elections.

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Registrationfor
Votes

Preparationof
Election

Equipment,voter
list,BallotStyle

ElectionDay/
voting

CountingofVotes

Submissionof
Result
R

i
ResultDeclaration

Figure2.1:CurrentManualElectionSystem.

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3. ResearchInstrument

To complete this study, information was gathered from major organizations in Pakistan. The
NationalDatabaseandRegistrationAuthorityPakistan(NADRA)hasacentralizeddatabaseand
is providing help to various departments for their online system. A second organization is the
ElectionCommissionofPakistan(ECP)whichisanauthoritywhoholdstheelectionsinPakistan.
PrimarydataandinformationresourceswereinterviewsfromofficialsofNADRAandECP,which
aresummarizedinthissection,below.Secondaryinformationresourcesweretheinformation
available in libraries and on the web. The questionnaire given to the ECP is attached in
Appendix1andthequestionnairegiventoNADRAinAppendix2.

3.1

Interviews

Interviews are effective way to extract and obtain significant research interconnected
informationbyinterviewingadomainexpert.Itisbestmethodtocollectimportantdata[10].To
fulfillmultipleobjectivesforstudyofparticularsubjectitisnecessarytoconductinterviewsof
relevant people. Interviews can be in the form of face to face or electronically
(online/telephonic). In four semistructured interviews were conducted for this study. Semi
structured interviews was selected to communicate and get maximum information for this
study.

3.1.1 PurposeofInterviews
InterviewswereconductedtoknowtheproblemsfacedbytheElectionCommissionofPakistan
anddiscusspossiblesolutionsfortheseproblems.Personalexperienceoftheprofessionalsmay
notwritteninliterature,theycanvalidatefindingfromliteratureorcangivesomesuggestions
upontheirexperienceinthisfield.Interviewsweredividedintwoportions,firstportionwasto
discovertheproblemsofofficialsperformingdutiesduringtheelectionsandinsecondportion
wediscussdifferentevotingsystemstogetpointofviewoftheprofessionalaboutthesystem,
whichonewillfulfilltherequirementsandincreasetheturnout.

3.1.2 SelectionofInterviewSubjects
Toconductinterviewitwasnecessarytoselectsubjectwhowerebesttosolvetheproblemand
providebestinformation.Togetmaximuminformationfromthedepartment,itwasnecessary
to select people working in operational level having direct relation with the system. In four
Interviewees; two of them were officials of Election Commission of Pakistan and rest of them
werefromNationalDatabaseandRegistrationAuthority.

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3.1.3 StudyInstruments
In this study it was necessary to get information on following study instruments. Most of the
questionnaires were formulated to cover these issues which are necessary to complete this
study.

Requirementstoregisteravoter
Problemfacedbypeopletocastvotes.
Speedofworkduringallprocedure.
Accuracyofcountingafterelections.
Weaknessofcurrentsystem

Some instruments were used in NADRA to collect information and rest of them to get
informationfromECP.

3.1.4 Interviewing
Each interview is conducted face to face and it took 40 60 minutes. Time and place for the
interviews was already decided, interviews were conducted at their own places. Before
interviewashortexplanationofstudywaspresented.Mainpointswerewrittenbyhandona
paperthroughouttheinterviews.ThetranscribedformofinterviewswithElectionCommission
ofPakistan[ECP]canbeviewedinAppendix1andNationalDatabaseandRegistrationAuthority
[NADRA]inAppendix2.

3.2

ResultsandAnalysis

In this section results and analysis of literature review and interviews are presented. Finding
from literature and validation of finding from systematic interviews and figure out possible
solutionsoftheproblemsfromexpertswillbediscussed.
In first portion we discussed about the weakness of current system or problem faced during
wholeprocedure.

Registration of voters: during registration of voters some typing or handwriting


mistakeslosenumberofvoterstocasttheirvotes.
Problemfacedbypeopletocastvotes:onthedayoftheelection,somepeoplehesitate
to cast vote or cant cast the vote due to different problem [discussed in section 4.1]
andsomepeoplecouldnotcastthevoteduetothesetypingorhandwritingmistakes
foundduringthecheckingofidentity.
Speed:Allelectionprocedureismanualhandwritingformandthisproceduretakeslong
to get results. Registration procedure took long time to get information from each
home,dayofElectionis810hoursproceduretoallowpeoplestocastvotesandafter
electionmorethantwodaysspendtogetresults.Someresultsarechallengeddueto
countingerrororotherproblems[discussedinsection4.1].

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Accuracy:Itisquiteimpossibletomakeerrorfreeinthemanualsystemwherepeople
are involved working from more than 24 hours. People are directly involved in these
processaretiredandcouldnotperformefficientlywhichmakemistakesanderrorsin
results.
Currently some evoting systems are already working. In my interview it was also part of
discussion which one can solve the problem and fulfill the requirements. To validate the
literaturewediscussedonlineelectionsystemiscoveringmostoftherequirements;

Registrationprocedureofvoter:forelectionsystemtheneedasystemwhichcoverthe
procedure of registration of people for voting. Because in current system there are
differentproblemsduringtheregistrationofvoter.[discussedinsection2.3]
Electronic voting system: which is helpful to cover all problems; checking of identity,
attack on ballot boxes, hesitation of people to cast vote, helpful people to cast vote
fromanypollingboothavailableandhelpfullforthedisableandseniorcitizensetc.
Countingsystem:anefficientsystem countaccuratelyandmorespeedilythevotesto
makeresult.

It was in our discussion why the online system is solving all aspects? Because in Pakistan one
online department [NADRA] is available to support this system, because this department is
currently providing online support to different organizations to run their electronic systems,
PassportIssuingAuthority,VehicleRegistrationAuthority,BanksandKIOSKetc.Ifanysystem,
whichcoversallprocedurementionabove,thenitwillbepossibletocoverallproblemswhich
werediscussedearlierinthissectionandminimumuseofextraresourcesandmaximumuseof
current resources; for example online computer labs available in most of the schools at the
levelofsecondaryeducationandKIOSKplacedbyNADRA.

3.3Summaryoftheinformationpubliclyavailable.
NADRAhasanonlinesystemofComputerizedIdentityCardsthatkeepsarecordofdata,which
theyobtainfromeachperson.Dataattributesareasfollows:
(1)

Nameofheadoffamily

(2)

Picture

(3)

Relationwithheadoffamily

(4)

IDCardNumber

(5)

FullName

(6)

FamilyNumber

(7)

FathersName

(8)

MothersName

(9)

WifesName

(10)

PermanentAddress

(11)

CurrentAddress

(12)

PlaceofBirth(city)

(13)

DateofBirth

(14)

Gender

(15)

Maritalstatus

(16)

Religion

(17)

Motherlanguage

(18)

Education

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(19)

NatureofEducation

(20)

MarkofIdentification

(21)

Disability

(22)

Job

(23)

Jobdescription

(24)

CurrentResidence

(25)

Bloodgroup

(26)

Detailofchildren

(27)

Unioncouncil

(28)

PParea(ProvinceArea)

(29)

NAarea(FederalArea)

FrontSideofCNIC

TranslationinEnglish

GovernmentofPakistan

NationalIdentityCard
No.3630204326745
Name:AbdulAziz
Gender:Male
NameofFather:AbdulMajeedOwaisi
MarkofIdentification:AMolemarkonneck
DateofBirth:24/07/1980
Ifthelostcardisfoundputintonearestletterbox

___________________
Signatureofcardholder

_______________________
SignatureRegistrarGeneral

Figure3.1:InformationonthefrontsideComputerizedNationalIdentityCard(CNIC).

BackSideofComputerizedIdentityCard

TranslationinEnglish
OldIDNo.32280713340

FamilyNo.ED3D5S
IDNo.363020432675

Current Address: House No. 1636/284, Street No. 6,


AlKhairColony,Multan
ParmanentAddress:same

ExpiryDate:31/05/2011

DateofIssue:19/08/2002
Incaseofchangeinpermanentaddressapplynewcard

Figure3.2:InformationonthebacksideComputerizedNationalIdentityCard(CNIC).

16|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

Secondly,informationcollectedfromtheElectionCommissionofPakistani.e.whattheyneedto
registeravoter;
(1) VoterNumber(issuedbyECP)

(2) Name

(3) FathersName

(4) IDCardNumber

(5) Address

Analyzing the information shows that NADRA has all the information required by the Election
Commission of Pakistan, and provides a Computerized ID card with a barcode. So, if the
ElectionCommissiononlyregisterstheCNIConlinewithcollaborationofNADRAtheneveryone
caneasilyregisterhisvoteonthewebsite.

3.3

LiteratureStudies

To offer an online election system, it was necessary to study the current computerized voting
system or voting machines working in different countries. Many developed countries USA,
AustraliahavealreadyadoptedanonlineElectionsystem.[11][12]

3.3.1 Electronicvoting
Technologycanincludepunchedcards,opticalscanvotingsystemsandspecializedvotingkiosks
(includingselfcontaineddirectrecordingelectronicvotingsystems,orDRE).Itcanalsoinvolve
transmissionofballotsandvotesviatelephones,privatecomputernetworks,orviatheInternet.
Electronic voting helps voters to cast votes in an election through computerized equipment.
SometimesthistermisusedtotakevotesoverInternet.

3.3.1.1

Machinecounting

Machinereadableballotsystemsprovideshelptothevoterstomarktheirvotesonapapercard
with marker and remove divots from a perforated card with a stylus or mechanical hole
puncher.[13]

Figure3.3:Machinereadableballotpaperandcountingmachine
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3.3.1.2

Computervoting

Electronicvotingmachines(DRE)lookinglikeanATMsorpersonalcomputerusedtocastvotes,
which provides help to vote through a keyboard, a touch screen, or a pointer to mark their
votes.[14]

Figure3.4:touchscreen&otherelectronicvotingmachine

3.3.1.3

Onlinevoting

Onlinevotingmaybeconductedinavarietyofways:
'Pollsite'internetvotingsystemsthatrequirevoterstogotostaffedpollingplacesand use

computerstocasttheirvotes.Theinternetisusedtotransfertheballotsfromeachpollingplace
tocentralizedtallyingcenters.
'Regional poll site' internet voting systems that allow voters to go to any poll site in a

particularcityorregiontocasttheirvote.Thesystemkeepstrackofwhichvotershavealready
cast their ballots, and delivers the correct ballot paper to each voter based on where one
resides.
'KIOSK'internetvotingsystemsthatallowvoterstovotefromcomputersinKIOSKssetupby
thevotingauthorityinconvenientlocationssuchaspostofficesandshoppingmalls.TheKIOSKs
are not monitored by poll workers all the time and may allow voting over a period of several
daysorweeks.
'Remote' systems that allow voters to vote from any computer connected to the internet

typicallyathomeoratwork.AswellasviaPCs,homeinternetvotingcouldbethroughdigitalTV
or even mobile phones or games machines. Remote internet voting might be used to replace
pollsitevotingentirely,oritmightbeusedonlyforabsenteeballoting.[15]
18|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

Figure3.5:stepstocastavoteinvotingmachine
The dramatic impact of the internet has led to discussions about the relation between e
democracy and online voting. Some early enthusiasts declared that the internet could replace
representativedemocracy,enablingeveryonetovoteoneverythingandanythingatthepushof
abutton[16].Suchvisionsoversimplifythedemocraticprocess.Othershavearguedthatevoting
couldreducecostsandincreaseturnoutbymakingvotingmoreconvenient[17].

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4. FindingandRecommendation

4.1

Finding(Limitationincurrentsystem)

In the democratic world political parties face different problems one of the problems is
decreasing turnout of voters. Every party is taking interest in increasing its share of the votes
and for this purpose they provide good facilities to voters for casting the vote. But factors
mentionedbeforereducethecastofvotes.Amainproblemisthateveryvoterneedstogoto
hisownareaandcastatElectionBooth,whichisallocatedforhimbyECP.
ThereisnospecialfacilityforseniorcitizensordisabledpeopletocometothePollingBooths
and cast the votes. Every person has to come in the same way to cast the vote and people
hesitatetocastthevotesduetotheseproblemsunderdifficultweatherconditions.
Another element which creates hesitation for a voter to come out is the pressure from the
members of the political parties. In Pakistan people in some regions are under great pressure
fromtheirlandlordsorfromtheheadsoffamily,andduringcastingofvotes;representativesof
thesepartiescreateproblemsforvoters.
Fraudinelectionsisanotherfactor,whichcreatesanotherkindofproblems.Somepeopleare
registeredinmorethanonearea,andduetounavailabilityofacentralizedelectionsystem,they
are able to cast more than one vote with the same ID card. Manual counting is also another
factorwheresomestaffcanchangecountingeitherdeliberatelyorbyamistake,whichaffects
the result and can be used to manipulate the distribution of the mandate of the nation. As
discussedinthesectionPurposeintheIntroductionchapter,differentissuescausepeoplenot
tocomeoutforcastingvotes.
Toovercometheseproblemsitisnecessarytodesignacentralizedsystemwhichcoversthese
factors. A secure and efficient electronic system will cover such problems as the counting of
votesandthecastingofmultiplevotes.Everyonecangoanywheretovote,becausethesystem
will automatically allot them their area and will display the candidates for their area. More
people will take Interest in casting votes because they feel free to cast their vote from their
convenientlocationwithoutanyproblemanddifficulty.

4.2

Recommendations

After evaluating different electoral systems in the literature and some current in practice
systemsinvariouscountries,itisnecessarytolookcloseratwhichonecanbeconsideredtobe
bestamongthemandfurthermorewhichonecouldmeetthebasicrequirementsofthepresent
20|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

system in Pakistan. If we look at the safety requirements, one is to control the duplication of
voterregistration,anothertofacilitatethevoters;andthethirdtoeliminatecountingmistakes.
Differentelectronicelectoralsystems,forexampleDRE,areimplementedinmanycountries,but
we chose the online system instead of other existing system, because for polling we can use
electronicvotingmachinewhichisoneofthesolutionssofarforcastingthe votes,butit has
alsointroduceda new kindofinsecurityaspect,aninsecuritythatpartlyalso resideswith the
user. Can we be sure that the software has recorded the correct ballot? Can we be sure that
none could vote more than one time? These questions are useful to emphasize some of the
mostimportantsetsofproblemsthatliteraturehasdepicted[18,19]:

InsertionofCorruptSoftware
CalibrationoftheMachine
ShutoffVotingMachineFeaturesIntendedtoassistVoters
ActionsbycorruptPollWorkersorOthersatthePollingPlacetoaffectVotes
VoteBuyingSchemes
AttacksonBallots
Unauthorizedprivilegeescalation
IncorrectuseofCryptography

Besides insecurity aspects, electronic voting machines/systems have more or less removed 3
importantproblemsetslike:

CountingErrors
CommunicationErrors
WrittenMistake

Buttherearestillotherproblemsremaining,likeregistrationofvoters,andlackofinterestof
electoratestocasttheirvote.So,weneedtodesignamorecompletepackageofsolutionsto
thetypeofproblemsthatprevailinPakistan.Thesuggestedonlinevotingsystemwillprovideus
with all solutions like the registration of voters, casting of a vote, the voters security, the
counting of votes, the speed of result declaration, and above all, the transparency of the
elections. Such a proposed system will be a secure system that will restrict the influence of
unauthorizedpowersontheelection.

4.2.1 CurrentITResources
MostorganizationsandinstitutesalreadyhaveanadvancedITstructureand NADRAisoneof
them.NADRAhasmobileteamswithonlinesystemsusedtocollectdatafromvariousareasof
Pakistan where most of Pakistanis are not educated and cant reach NADRAs offices. On the
other hand NADRA provides Kiosks which are used as an online medium to pay bills and
purchasethings.Moreover,NADRAisalsoprovidingtheComputerizedNationalIdentityCards

21|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

withbarcodesandusingthisdatabase,machinereadablepassportsarenowbeingissuedtothe
citizens.

4.2.2 SecureDatabases
Tosecurethedatabaseofanonlineelectionsystem,Itisnecessarytodesignasecurenetwork.
A picture of such a network is below, where a group of front webservers is providing web
servicetoendusers,theKIOSK,theElectionCommissionOfficesandthePollingBoothsetc.For
securingtheElectionCommissionNetworkwebserversshouldbebehindafirewall.Theseweb
servers will be communicating with storage and database servers having calculation options,
which are connected with backup servers and extra resource servers of NADRA holding the
correctrecordofeachIDcardholder.

Figure4.1:PurposeSecureDatabasesystem
22|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

This system will be more efficient than any other system, because here we have centralized
databasewhichismoresecureforrecordsavingandtoverifytheidentificationofeachvoter.
ServersarecommunicatingwithNADRAsdatabase.
Theonlinesystemprovidesdifferentoptionsforvoterstocastthevote.Peoplecanvotefrom
their home PC, from the NADRA KIOSK, from the Polling Booths arranged by the Election
Commissionandthereisnorestrictionofarea.Anyonecancastthevoteforcandidatesofhis
areatoanypollingboothinthecountry.

4.2.3 DesigningPrototype
Foranonlinesystemaninteractivedesignwillbemorehelpfulforeachvoter.Theenduserwill
feel more at ease with an easy system rather than running a more complex system. Some
prototypesaredesignedwhicharequiteeasyforthevoterstocastthevote.
In further studies there is an option to design the system for polling booths and election
officialssiteandKIOSKetc,andregistrationsiteaswell.
Following are the steps after the registration of a voter, these steps just cover the casting of
votes.

Figure4.2:firstpage:TheLoginPageoftheproposedonlineelectionsystem

23|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan


4.2.3.1

FirstPage:Logintoyouraccount

First page of the online election system is the login page. This step is after the registration of
voterontheElectionsystem.Itisnotpossibletologonbeforeregistrationonthissoftware.
Is the login procedure is made in the simplest way possible. The login interface just has two
requiredfields:thenationalidentitycardnumber,andthepasswordgiventothepersonafter
registration.

Figure4.3:Secondpage:selectionofLanguage

4.2.3.2

SecondPage:SelectionofLanguage

Thesecondstepistoselectlanguage;herewehaveoptiontoselectalanguage(Urdu/English)
ofPakistan.Afterselectinganylanguagenextpageswillbedisplayedinthesamelanguageas
selected.

24|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan


Figure4.4:Thirdpage:selectionofcandidatesofNationalAssembly

4.2.3.3

ThirdPage:SelectcandidatesofNationalAssembly

ThirdpageisthelistofcandidatesavailableforNationalAssemblyofareaofvoter.Thebeauty
ofthissystemisthateveryvoteronlyhasalistofcandidatesofhisarea.Thismeanshecant
erroneouslyvoteforacandidateofotherarea.
Thehighlightingofonlyonesinglecandidateduringtheselectionprocessisalsoabetterwayto
reduce the number of possible problems, because in the current manual system some people
stamponmorethanone candidateandthey dont knowthattheyaremakinganillegalvote,
andtherebyarejustwastingtheirvote,sinceitwillnotbecounted.

25|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan


Figure4.5:Fourthpage:selectionofcandidatesofProvincialAssembly

4.2.3.4

FourthPage:VoteforcandidatesofProvincialAssembly

When voting for the candidates in the Provincial Assembly we have the two same pages with
thedifferentProvincialAssemblies,whichmeansthateveryvoterwillseetheirownProvincial
page(seefigure4.5).
Pakistanhasfiveprovincesandpeopleofeachprovincewillonlyseetheirownprovinceduring
their login. The display of candidates and options is similar to the corresponding page of the
NationalAssembly.Ithasbeengiventhesamestyleasthepageforselectionofcandidatesof
nationalassemblypage,withsameoptions,radiobuttonsandother.NextandPreviousbuttons
willfacilitatevoterstogobackortothenextchoice.

26|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan


Figure4.6:Lastpage:submissionofvote

4.2.3.5

LastPage:Submitvote

Onthelastpage(figure4.6)wecanseethefinalselectionforNational&ProvinceAssembly.If
someonewantstochangetheselection,theyjusthavetoclickonthePreviousbutton.After
the final submission in the voting session the system will not allow him or her to change the
selectionagain.

27|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

5 Discussion

Itisnecessarytoseethebenefitsanderrorsofeverysystem,butthemostnecessaryissueisthe
correctness of the requirements. In earlier sections we discussed different problems of the
currentpaperbasedpollingsysteminPakistan,andwesuggestedreplacingthiswithanonline
systemtosolvetheseissuesandincreasethespeedoftheprocessofelectionsystem.Nowthe
discussionis:Whywouldanonlinesystembethebestsolutionforthecurrentissues?
InvariouscountriesthevotingsystemhasalreadybeenconvertedtoEvotingorcomputerized
voting. Different approaches were implemented to increase voter turnout, facilitating voters
anddecreasingthenumberoffraudattempts.Theproposedonlinesystemwillprovideasecure
andaserrorfreeelectionsystemaspossiblewithaninteractivedesignwithdifferentlanguages,
whichwillmakeitpossibleformanypeopletocastthevote.
TheuseofavotingmachineisasolutionforsomeproblemlikeBallotpaper,speedofelections,
counting accuracy etc. Punch cards have some inherent benefits like counting speeds etc.
However,onlinesystemswillalsoprovideahighcountingspeed,aswellashelppeoplestovote
fromanylocation,withintheirowncityorevenoutofthecountry.Intheintroductionsectionit
was discussed before that democracy needs people to actively come and show their will, and
currentlyinPakistanonly44%peoplearecastingtheirvotes.So,themainfocusofthisstudyis
to cover the problems faced by the people during the elections and to suggest a design that
wouldsolvetheseissues.Ifthissystemisputintoaction,itislikelythatamuchlargernumberof
thepopulationwouldliketoshowtheirwillforcandidates.
It was already discussed [in section 3.2, 4.2] that after requirement analysis it is necessary to
investigate which system is a fully implementable solution of current system. The main
problemstoconsiderare:registrationofvoters,elections,counting,fraudsduringelectionand
speedofresultsetc.
MostofthepopulationofPakistanhasnoprivatefacilityofcomputerandInternet.So,weneed
toconsiderotheroptionssuchas:theinformationKIOSK,whichisalreadyplacedinmanyplaces
by NADRA. The use of Internetcafes is another option for people to cast vote, although this
requiresextrasecuritymeasurestoguaranteethesecretvoting.Buttherearestillsomeareas
wherepeopledoneitherhavethefacilityofacomputer,anInternetCaf,oraNADRAKIOSK.In
thesecasespublicgovernmentownedonlinepollingboothswillbehelpfultocastthevote.So,
itdoesnotmeanthataftertheintroductionoftheonlinesystemitbecomesthedutyofpeople
tocastvotebytheirownpersonalresources.Thepollingstaff,whichisalreadyusedformanual
systemneedstobetrainedtoregisterthepeopleandhelptheminthevotingprocess.
28|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

Therulesforregistrationofvotersare;theyhavetobe18yearsoldandacitizenofPakistan.
The same rules apply for getting an identity card of Pakistan. So, it is suggested that every ID
card holder should be registered automatically to the Election commission of Pakistan when
theyreceivetheIDcard.Thentherewillbenoneedofgettingthesamedataagainfromeach
voter.EverycardholdercangethispasswordfromthehelplineoftheElectioncommissionor
fromanofficialwebsite.ThecurrentsystemattheNADRAKioskusesthumbsprintrecognition
asapassword,butpeoplealsohavetheoptiontosetapersonalpasswordontheirlogin.
Ifsomepeoplecouldnotberegisteredduetooccurringproblemsthentheyhaveoptiontogo
onlinetogettheirpasswordandtocasttheirvoteorgotoapollingbooth,whereofficialswill
registerthemandallowthemtovote.Ifpeoplearefacilitatedthisway,thenitisalsolikelythat
morepeoplewillcomeforcastingthevotes.

29|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

6 Conclusion

InordertogetbetterresultsinthisstudyItriedtounderstandthepaperbasedpollingsystem
inPakistanandnottheleastthedrawbacksofthesystem.Istudieddifferentvotingsystemwith
theiradvantagesanddisadvantages.Thesystemproposedinthisthesiswillnotjustconvertthe
currentmanualsystemtoanelectronicequivalentbutwillbepossibletoruninparallelwiththe
currentsystemandthusmakeiteasierforthepeoplewhoarenotabletocasttheirvotesdue
to different reasons as related above. This online system will be helpful for casting votes by
different electronic ways. People will be able to cast votes through their home PC, through
polling booths, NADRA Kiosks, and Netcafes. This multitude of opportunities will make voting
moreaccessible,andtherebyhopefullycreatemoreattractionforthosepeoplewhodonotcast
theirvotestoday.
Thisstudycoversproposedsystem,designedphaseofonlinevoting.Tocompletetheallportion
ofthesystemitisnecessarytodesignedallphaseswiththeirrelations;KIOSKsoftware,online
registrationanddatabaseconnectedwithNADRA.

30|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

Re f e r e n c e s

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
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15.
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18.
19.

http://www.electionguide.org/country.php?ID=164
http://elections.com.pk/contents.php?i=8#National
http://elections.com.pk/contents.php?i=8#National
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Punjab,_Pakistan
http://elections.com.pk/contents.php?i=8#National
http://elections.com.pk/contents.php?i=8#Introduction
http://elections.com.pk/contents.php?i=8#Introduction
http://elections.com.pk/contents.php?i=8#Introduction
http://elections.com.pk/contents.php?i=8#Introduction
B.Hancock,AnIntroductiontoQualitativeResearch,UnitedKingdom:Trentfocus
Org,1998.
http://www.fvap.gov/
http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/2010/aug/23/eelectionsmootedaustraliaand
indonesia/
DouglasW.Jones,OnOpticalMarkSenseScanningUniversityofIowa,lowaCity
IA52242,USA
http://uspolitics.about.com/od/elections/ig/HistoryofVotingSystems/DREor
Touchscreen.htm
Onlinevoting,postnote,May2011,No.155[www.parliament.uk/post/home.htm]
Onlinevoting,postnote,May2011,No.155[www.parliament.uk/post/home.htm]
Onlinevoting,postnote,May2011,No.155[www.parliament.uk/post/home.htm]
TheMachineryofDemocracy:ProtectingElectionsinanElectronicWorld,Page8.
AnalysisofElectronicVotingSystem,TadayoshiKohno,AdamStubblefield,AvielD.
Rubin,DanS.Wallach.Proceedingofthe2004IEEESymposiumonSecurityand
Privacy(S&P04)

31|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

A p p e n de x 1
Questionnaire:ElectionCommissionOfficeofPakistan
1. WhichkindsofElectionsheldinPakistan?
2. WhatistimeperiodforEachElection?
3. DivisionofAreaforeachAssembly,numbersofpositionsineveryarea?
4. WhichkindofinformationdoyourequiredforCandidatetoregisterinElection?
5. WhichkindofinformationdoesyourequiredregisteringaVoter?
6. They way registration of voter or collection of information from voter before every
election?
7. FullwayofElection(RegistrationofVoter,castingvoteandcountingofvotes)?
8. WhichkindofproblemsdoyoufacedduringElectionProcedure?
9. Doyouthinkanyelectronicsystemcanreplacethecurrentsystem?
10. After looking on different evoting system which one is best for Pakistan in this
situation?
11. Isthereanysystemorresourceswhicharehelpfultodesignapurposedsystem?
12. WhyOnlineVotingsystemistheonlychoiceforPakistan?
13. HowmuchisithelpfulincurrentsituationforElectionsysteminPakistan?

Transcribedformofinterview
In this discussion he briefs me the current system. I got Information regarding Elections for
different Governments running in Pakistan; National Assembly, Senate, Provincial Assembly,
localGovernmentsetc.Hetoldmethewaytocollectioninformationandmakingvoterlist.
Hetoldmeabout;whyitisnecessarytouseacomputerizedsystemtocontrolthefraudduring
elections,problemsfacedbytheElectionCommission.
He categorize the system in three parts; (1) Registration of Voters, (2) voting (3) Announcing
Results.Nowwhichkindofproblemtheyfacedduringinthesedifferentpartsare;
(1) Registration of Voters: mistakes of typing during Registration of voters, collection of
data from each home of the country. Mostly people get their Voter card after

32|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

registrationfromdifferentpartiesoffices,thereisnowaytogetinformationregarding
theirvotesfromElectionCommissionofPakistandirectly
(2) Voting:Manualvotingsystemmakeproblemsomepeoplehowtocastavote,likesome
timetheyjuststampsmiddleofthecandidatesorstampsmorethanonecandidateand
justwaisttheirvote.Somepeopledontwanttogoforvoteduetoweatherconditions
oranyotherpersonalproblems.
(3) AnnouncingResult:Thereislotofchancesoffraudormistakesinthecountingofvotes.
SomeofficersareunderpressureofanyPoliticalpartyandcanchangetheresult.
We analyze the requirements and the resources. We discussed different system presently
working in different countries, like in Australia, USA, UK and India. In this discussion we also
think which system can easily replace or work with this current system. It was also in our
discussion,wehavetousecurrentresourceswithminimumexpenditure.
There are different evoting system like; machine counting, electronic voting machine, online
votingmachine.Afterdiscussionwithdifferentevotingsystemworkingin different countries,
wefindouttheonlinesystemisbestforPakistan.
They need a system, which fulfill the all requirements; many people are not registered or
registered with wrong data which creates problem for people to cast votes. On the day of
electionsomepeoplearehesitatingtocastvoteduetodifferentproblemsorcastvoteunder
pressureofanypoliticalparty,landlordorheadoffamily.Ifourpurposedsystemcoversthese
problemlike;registrationofvoters,voteforanypartyinyourareafromanypollingboothofthe
country.
DuringdiscussionwetookanoverviewoncurrentresourcesinPakistanwhichcanbeusedfor
our system, Election Commission of Pakistan higher Government servants to conduct the
elections,differentColleges,Schools,UniversitiesorofficesareusedtomakePollingbooths.
Their suggestion an online election system after analyzing the requirements [mentioned in
section3.2]

33|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan

A p p e n de x 2
Questionnaire:NationalDatabaseandRegistration
Authority,(NADRA)Pakistan
1. HowmuchinformationrequiredapplyingaComputerizedNationalIdentitycard?
2. WhichfieldfrominformationdisplayedintheIDcard?
3. Howyousecureyourdatabase?
4. Whichkindsofservicesofferingbyyourdepartment?

Transcribedformofinterview
In our interview they give me a brief introduction of their system, and services provided to
differentorganizationfortheironlinesystems.
TheygivemeinformationaboutrequirementsofregistrationofapersonforNationalIdentity
card,shapeofNationalIdentitycard.SnapsofComputerizedNationalIdentityCard(CNIC)and
detailsofinformationarementionedinsection3.3

34|OnlineElectionsystemofPakistan