A Security Generated Approach towards Mass Elections using Voting Software
Elections form the core of democratic society and, as such, are of monumental importance in democratic world. In order for an election to remain truly democratic, it must uphold four critical properties: privacy, incoercibility, accuracy and verifiability. In this paper we analyze threats against these properties during the three phases of an election (voter registration, casting votes, and tabulating votes), highlight specific ways voting systems have been compromised, summarize the weaknesses of current voting techniques, and give assurance to voters to ensure their votes are handled properly in upcoming elections. For an election to serve its purpose in a democracy, it must guarantee four properties: • Privacy — voters have the right to keep their ballots secret. • Incoercibility — voters cannot reveal the contents of their cast ballots. • Accuracy — the final tally is the actual sum of all cast ballots. • Verifiability — voters can prove to themselves that their ballots were cast as intended and counted, and anyone can prove that the final tally is accurate. Violations of any of these properties, particularly in the form of security breaches, can disrupt the outcome of an election or discourage potential voters from participating. This can allow small groups of people to compromise the robustness and fairness of the election. Any failure to guarantee each citizen the right to cast one, and only one, vote in the election violates the fundamental principle of democracy.
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2011 A Security Generated Approach towards Mass Elections using Voting Software Aradhana Goutam Ankit Kandoi Manish Wagh Fr. Conceicao Rodrigues College Fr. Conceicao Rodrigues College Fr. Conceicao Rodrigues College of Engineering, of Engineering, of Engineering, Bandstand, Bandra (W), Bandstand, Bandra (W), Bandstand, Bandra (W), Mumbai 400050, Mumbai 400050, Mumbai 400050, Maharashtra, India Maharashtra, India Maharashtra, India email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Kashyap Shah Prathamesh Tarkar Fr. Conceicao Rodrigues College Fr. Conceicao Rodrigues College of Engineering, of Engineering, Bandstand, Bandra (W), Bandstand, Bandra (W), Mumbai 400050, Mumbai 400050, Maharashtra, India Maharashtra, India firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com ABSTRACT right to cast one, and only one, vote in the election violates the fundamental principle of democracy. Elections form the core of democratic society and, as such, are of monumental importance in democratic Keywords—online voting, Encryption, CAPTCHA, world. . In order for an election to remain truly Bio-Metric, Graphs/Charts democratic, it must uphold four critical properties: privacy, incoercibility, accuracy and verifiability. In I. INTRODUCTION this paper we analyze threats against these properties A. Purpose: during the three phases of an election (voter registration, casting votes, and tabulating votes), The main objective of this project is to illustrate the highlight specific ways voting systems have been requirement of project Voting Software for mass compromised, summarize the weaknesses of current elections. It gives detailed description of functional & voting techniques, and give assurance to voters to non – functional requirements of the intended system. ensure their votes are handled properly in upcoming It is meant to delineate the features of intended elections. system, so as to serve as guide to developers on one hand and software validation documents for the For an election to serve its purpose in a democracy, perspective clients on the other. The final product of it must guarantee four properties: the team will be meeting requirements of this • Privacy — voters have the right to keep their ballots document. secret. B. Scope: • Incoercibility — voters cannot reveal the contents of We describe what features are in scope and what are their cast ballots. not in the scope of the software to be developed. • Accuracy — the final tally is the actual sum of all a) WITHIN THE SCOPE:- cast ballots. • Pre – election processing where users are • Verifiability — voters can prove to themselves that required to fill an online form, take its print their ballots were cast as intended and counted, and out and submit it to centre’s along with the anyone can prove that the final tally is accurate. required documents for validation. Violations of any of these properties, particularly in the form of security breaches, can disrupt the • Information about different parties, their representatives and their recent work is outcome of an election or discourage potential voters made available on the respective website. from participating. This can allow small groups of people to compromise the robustness and fairness of • Voter Authentication. the election. Any failure to guarantee each citizen the • Alerting voter if already voted once. 152 http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ ISSN 1947-5500 (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2011 • Secured transmission of count of votes of Officer is authenticated with the help of fingerprint each representatives using recognition. encryption/decryption/algorithm. Voter: • Administrator/ Chief Election Officer The Voter can register himself in different languages Authentication. as per his choice. The Voter is assigned an Unique b) BEYOND THE SCOPE:- Identifier after his identity is confirmed. The Voter can also browse through the website to gain • All the information in the forms collected at knowledge of different candidates and parties. The the centre’s are stored and maintained in the Voter is authenticated with the help of his Unique voter’s database. Identifier, Date of Birth and age. Eventually, the • Any client related prediction. Voter can give a vote which gets recorded in the database. C. Overview: The rest of Software Requirement Specification (SRS) is organized as follows: Section 2 gives overall C. Performance Characteristics: description of software. It gives what level of a) Language Translation proficiency is expected of the user, some general constraints while making software and some Voter can submit the registration form in English, assumptions and dependencies that are assumed. Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, Telugu and Bengali. Section 3 gives specific requirements which software b) UIDs is expected to deliver. Functional requirements are Voter is assigned an Unique Identifier (UID) once given by various UML diagrams. Some performance his/her identity is confirmed. and design requirements are also specified in the document. c) Reliability II. DESCRIPTION The Voting System does not fail even if thousands of users are trying to access it at the same time. A. Product Perspective: d) Exclusive Access To Results The system will prompt the voter to enter his user id Only the Chief Election Officer is allowed to access and DOB. These details will be checked against the the results of the election via fingerprint database decentralized according to the authentication. locality/postal code. Further, the voter will be permitted to select one of the representatives e) Human Verification displayed on the GUI screen. It is generated during the voter registration which is The system will alert the user: used to distinguish human voters from web spiders and computer programs. 1. For vote confirmation f) Charts 2. If he has voted earlier. Results of the election can be viewed in the form of The system will have admin who has fully fledged table and charts like Pie chart, Bar chart and Line rights with regards to managing resources across graph. centers such as transferring voters information to the centre’s, decrypting and counting the votes received g) Denial of copy by each representative, displaying results on the The website developed has right click, select, website highlighting and back button disabled. B. User Characteristics: D. Behavioral Description: Features of entities involved in the system: • Response time should not be more than one Chief Election Officer (CEO): second. The Chief Election Officer has the exclusive right to • Transferring a vote should not take more than view the results of the election. He can view the three seconds. results with respect to a ward or country in the form of charts. After viewing the results, he would then • There should be proper synchronization and display the results on the website. The Chief Election accurate time interval. 153 http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ ISSN 1947-5500 (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2011 E. Design Constraints: b) Server Site: • The Exit button cannot be disabled. • Windows XP/Vista/ 7 or Linux Operating System • The Menu button cannot be disabled. • Java2 Software Development Kit 1.6 F. General Constraints • Java Runtime Environment • Full working of the system requires Internet connection. • NetBeans 6.8 • The system is single-user software decentralized • Glassfish V3 Domain according to postal code or locality. • TomCat G. Assumptions & Dependencies: • Java DB Assumptions: • Web browser • The system assumes that the users have a bit J. Validation criteria: knowledge regarding how to use a mouse/keyboard of a computer. Software should provide following validations: • Full working of the system is dependent on the • If the input is incorrect or empty then an error is availability of Internet connection. thrown and the control is redirected to the home page. Dependencies: The system needs following 3rd party products: • The voter is allowed to see only those sections which are permitted by the CEO. • NetBeans III. INVESTIGATION HISTORY • Glassfish Application Server A. Overview of Swiss Voting: • Tomcat Web Server A study realized in 2001 by the Research and • JavaDB Documentation Centre on Direct Democracy (c2d) upon request by the Geneva State Chancellery states H. Hardware Specifications: that the implementation of Internet voting could a) Client site: increase turnout by as much as nine percentage point. Minimum Requirements: Since its launch in the beginning of the current decade, the eGov Trenbarometer realized by the Bern • P4 2.4 GHz technical school shows that two thirds of Swiss • 256 MB RAM citizens wish to be able to vote online. Studies conducted in 2003 and 2004 by the GFS polling • 20 GB Hard Disk institute at the request of the federal Chancellery • Broadband connection (128 Kbps) have shown that most of the citizens aged 18 to 29 considered voting online. All these elements allow b) Server site: thinking that Internet voting will indeed have a positive impact on turnout. Minimum Requirements: The Swiss citizens living in the municipalities of • Intel /AMD dual core/core 2duo laptop with in- Anières, Avusy, Bernex, Chêne-Bourg, Collonge- built fingerprint recognition system Bellerive, Cologny, Grand-Saconnex, Onex, Plan-les- • 4 GB RAM Ouates, Thônex and Vandoeuvres were able to vote online for the federal and cantonal ballot of March • 240 GB Hard Disk the 7th, 2010. The online voting site was opened • Broadband connection(2Mbps) from Monday February the 8th at midday to Saturday March the 6th at midday. Past this deadline, these I. Software Specifications: citizens were able to vote in their polling station on a) Client Site: March the 7th, from 10 am until midday. Swiss citizens living abroad were also able to vote • Windows 2000/XP/Vista/ 7 Operating System online, providing they were registrred to vote in • Web browser Geneva and have their residence in the European 154 http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ ISSN 1947-5500 (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2011 Union, in Andorra, North Cyprus, Lichtenstein, careful engineering, strong safeguards and rigorous Monaco, San Marino Vatican City or in one of the testing in both design and operations. The actual state parties to the Wassenaar Arrangement development, implementation and testing of the (Argentina, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Japan, project will require about 5-6months. Norway, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine and United States of F. Other Significant factors: America). On February the 8th 2009, the Geneva a) Market and real estate feasibility: citizens approved with a 70.2% majority the The main intention of the project is not to capture inclusion of Internet voting in their Constitution. markets or to earn large profits. But the main aim is B. Overview of Estonian Internet voting: to provide the citizens with safe, easy, comfortable and faster way for voting. It should also reduce the Internet voting is available during an early voting complexity on the administrative side. period (sixth day to fourth day prior to Election Day). Voters can change their electronic votes an unlimited b) Cultural feasibility: number of times, with the final vote being tabulated. This project takes into account the cultural and It is also possible for anyone who votes using the linguistic characteristic of the demography. It allows Internet to vote at a polling station during the early the voter to select the language in which he wants to voting period, invalidating their Internet vote. It is vote thus overcoming language barriers. not possible to change or annul the electronic vote on the Election Day. V. SYSTEM ANALYSIS IV. FEASIBILITY STUDY A. Drawbacks of Paper Ballot System: A. Technological and System Feasibility: • There may be large magnitude of lost and This project uses technologies like Enterprise Java uncounted votes. Beans (EJB), Java Server Pages (JSP), Servlet and • Counting of votes is more time consuming and databases like Java DB. Apart from EJB, these complex. technologies do not require any special efforts from the technical team to get used it. • Casted votes need to be transported. B. Economic feasibility: • More dependence on human ability, hence more This project is economically feasible. It requires the prone to errors. use of NetBeans IDE. This software is easily available and can be brought without any special • Overall cost of voting is very high. expenditure. • Third party may be obtain knowledge of casted C. Legal feasibility: votes Most of the projects on voting have been B. Drawbacks of Electronic Voting Machine accomplished in hardware. NO COPYRIGHT has (EVM): been imposed on such kind of project anywhere in India or anywhere else in the world. Also the project • Can be hacked using modern hacking complies with the Legal requirements laid down on algorithms. by the Government of India. The project also takes • Susceptible to return oriented programming. care of the democratic and moral values of the voting system. • Machine can be replaced by identical malicious machine. D. Operational feasibility: As this project involves commonly used and easily • Booth capturing is possible. compatible software, it is robust, easily scalable and C. Drawbacks of Optical Scanners: can be easily integrated with the existing system without the loss of security. It provides higher The system uses polarized light transmitted from efficiency at lower cost without any compromise. sources of illumination, such as Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), and is received at the photo detectors E. Schedule feasibility: via cross-polarizer. Such systems, which require a The software development team should be able to voter to use an ink pen for checking boxes, learn the technologies to be used and enhance their connecting lines, or other techniques, can result in skills within two months. This software requires questioned or uncounted ballots due to improper 155 http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ ISSN 1947-5500 (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2011 marking. He will be prompted to enter his UID, age and date of birth. • With all optical systems, smudges or dirt on a ballot corrupts the scanning process creating a The system checks if he is a valid voter and high possibility for error. whether he has voted earlier. The quality of the ink mark is important. The system then lists the voting menu . An optical reader may miss light or inconsistent The user just clicks on the desired party. marks made by a voter. Your vote is encrypted on your PC. It is then Optical readers are cumbersome to transport to stored in a file that has no connection with the election sites and to store between elections. voters’ database. Votes are decrypted and counted on the final ballot’s day using the key Sensitive to dirt and dust accumulation on the held by the vote controllers. Until then, optical areas. nobody can know the content of the electronic D. Features of Our Software: ballot box. Precise vote counting After the voting is over the Chief Election Officer authenticates himself (using fingerprint Option to conduct in a centralized and recognition) to view the results. The Chief decentralized manner Election Officer is the first person to see the Rapid availability of results in the form of tables, results charts(line, pie, bar) Secure and reliable vote casting Lowers the cost of voting HTML HTML BROWSER BROWSER Easily scalable Economical, robust and easy to integrate with emerging technologies FIREWALL The system aims at boosting the voting percentage drastically SERVLET JSP VI. SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE A. WORKING: HTML/XML PAGES The working of our system is as follows: The technology provides freedom to RMI/IIOP programmers to adept and adopts different languages and techniques whenever they are required to provide the best result. This enables EJB SESSION BEANS EJB entities JDBC the voter to view the form and the result in his own mother tongue. The voter must fill the pre-election form. MQ SERIES/JAVA MESSAGING SERVICE (JMS) The system allows the voter to select the Language in which he wants to fill the form. The voter takes a print-out of it and submits it in DATABASE DATABASE the local ward. The officer verifies the information filled by the Figure 6.1 candidate and gives him a UID (Unique B. TECHNICAL DETAILS: Identification Number) and password .The UID is to be kept secret. The Voter enters the details through HTML web browser. Now JSP allows the Voter to submit the On the day of elections, the user must go to details to the Server. voting site. The Servlet accepts the request and sends 156 http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ ISSN 1947-5500 (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2011 response to the Client. The Servlet contains the VII. Output: business logic. The Entity Beans represents tables in database. The getter () and setter () methods are used to read and write from the database. The Session Beans accesses all the data from the database. Are translated and compiled into JAVA servlets but are easier to develop than JAVA servlets. JSP uses simplified scripting language based syntax for embedding HTML into JSP. JSP containers provide easy way for accessing standard objects and actions. JSP reaps all the benefits provided by JAVA servlets and web container environment, but they have an added advantage of being simpler and more natural program for web enabling Figure 7.1 Homepage (index.jsp) enterprise developer JSP use HTTP as default request /response communication paradigm and thus make JSP ideal as Web Enabling Technology. JSP parsing FRONT-END: HTML/JSP/JAVSCRIPT Figure 7.2 Description (webpage.html) MIDDLEWARE: PROCESSING AND TRANSFERRING VOTES THROUGH EJB BACK-END: JAVADB Figure 7.3 User registration (user_reg.jsp) Figure 6.2 157 http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ ISSN 1947-5500 (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2011 Figure 7.5 Voting page Fig. 7.4 Voter’s Information form Figure 7.6 Thank you page 158 http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ ISSN 1947-5500 (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2011 Figure 7.10 Results in TABULAR FORM Figure 7.7 Admin login (admin_login.jsp) Figure 7.11 Results in BAR CHART Figure 7.8 Login successful (check_admin.jsp) Figure 7.12 Results in LINE CHART Figure 7.9 Results page (check_admin.jsp) of different ward Figure 7.13 Results in PIE CHART 159 http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ ISSN 1947-5500 (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2011 VIII. CONCLUSION A. SCOPE FOR FUTURE IMPROVEMENT: The authentication of user and administrator can always be replaced by a finger print recognition / authentication approach which will definitely improve the security about voters and administrators identity. Image content retrieval algorithms will be required to match the fingerprints of the voter while voting and administrator while accessing any database against those maintained within the respective database. The encryption/decryption algorithm can be changed if its secrecy is compromised. B. Conclusion: The project “Voting software for mass elections” has been implemented successfully. This project is user friendly, fast, efficient, tamper proof and has good security features. It has all the pre-requisites of good software. It will definitely revitalize the common man's interest in voting. Thus, leading to stronger democracy. 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