Certification of ICTs in Elections

AutorWolf, Peter; Barrat, Jordi; Bolo, Eden; Bravo, Alejandro; Krimmer, Robert; Neumann, Stephan; Parreño, Al; Schürmann, Carsten; Volkamer, Melanie
AbstraktInformation and communication technologies play a critical role in the administration and organization of modern elections. Any breakdown of an election technology, security breach or programming error can incur tremendous cost for the electoral management body (EMB)—and may undermine voters’ trust, reduce voter participation or even cause national unrest. Not all of these problems are avoidable, but in most cases, good quality control can significantly reduce the likelihood that they will occur. This publication is a guide on how best to achieve quality control in election technologies, such as electronic voting or tabulation systems. The key elements of quality control are certification and evaluation. Certification refers to the confirmation of proof of compliance with a given standard. Evaluation is the most labour intensive part of the quality control process, during which the requirements, designs, hardware, firmware, software, networks and operational contexts are examined for faults. Elections technology can only be certified by third-party reviewers who are accredited to assess compliance with a standard. An EMB should consider quality control early in the process of introducing new technologies, starting during the feasibility study, especially if it is bound by law to provide such a certification. The evaluation reports and related documents can also be used to increase transparency of the election, improve the dialogue between EMBs and voters, and increase the EMB’s credibility.
PublisherInternational Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance