Author | Jaime RamosThe way in which we choose our political representatives has hardly varied in the last few decades. A vote is still a vote. Practically all around the world, citizens go to their public centre to vote, they choose between ballot papers or they mark a series of options on these, they insert them into an envelope and deposit them in a ballot box.This liturgy forms part of the very essence of democracy. Technology has barely managed to change the details of this human ritual. And that is not because there are no electronic solutions available and capable of offering guaranteed transparency.The first technologies to prove that electronic voting was possible, emerged in the 1960s. They were optical scan voting systems or making use of perforated ballot papers. Since then, other methods have been developed to replace the original system, preserving the guarantees thereof.
How many types of electronic voting systems exist?More recently, various tests have been conducted relating to new technological developments in real elections. The main problem is the lack of public involvement, which means that electronic voting only takes place in a handful of countries worldwide.Only Brazil, Estonia, India and Venezuela use electronic voting systems in their general elections. In Canada, the United States, Argentina and Peru, it is used to a certain degree, but not in all areas. For example, 7.7% of the votes recorded in the US in 1996 were via some form of electronic voting system. These systems can be grouped together into three types of technologies:
- Optical scan electronic voting system.
- Direct electronic recording systems.
- Online voting.