Design And Implementation Of An Online Voting Portal

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Design And Implementation Of An Online Voting Portal


Abstract


The aim of this project is to develop a database for voter’s registration which will in turn help government to conduct a free and fair election using electronic machines. The system is characterized by manual form filling to choose leaders and transfer of information from manual data capture forms to computerized datasheets, this has led to a high number of mistakes making their way into the final votes count. The current inefficient manual system of voting in Nigeria has been replaced by electronic machines, which have led to many cases of missing data in the voter registration file. The research work is designed to enable National Electoral Commission to use electronic device to capture voter information. The first phase involved a detailed study of the current system, leading to specifications of a new system. The second phase was concerned primarily with the specification of the system elements in a manner that best met the voter’s registration need. To implement this design, a computer program was then written and tested. It is hoped that effective implementation of this software product would eliminate many problems discovered during systems investigation.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The Federal Republic of Nigeria has 36 states, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and 774 Local Government Areas (LGA). The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. The three main ethnic groups in Nigeria are the ethnic Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba.

In Nigeria, the general elections are held every four years, when a head of state and representatives of the President of the National Assembly are elected. They are elected by the people. The National Assembly has 360 members representing various groups.

Most African electoral bodies without exception to the CENI, even with advances in technology, still use primitive methods based paper during voting; this system is characterized by manual filling of forms to choose leaders and information transfer data entry forms for computerized manuals data sheets, which led to a high number of errors make their way in the final count of the votes. The main advantage of the paper-based system is the ballots are easily verifiable human. The disadvantages outweigh the advantages, for example, printing of ballots is slow, expensive, rigid, hostile environment and also limits Literacy and last minute changes to the voter register are difficult to accommodate, among others. In recent years, some observers have suggested the introduction of electronic voting at the state and federal. The online voting system is basically the voting phase. Electronic voting process using the online voting system should be cheaper than the current paper-based system was used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). Online voting is an electronic way to choose leaders via an application-oriented web. The advantage of online voting on the present manual system is that voters can choose to vote in their own free time and reduce congestion. It also minimizes on counting errors. Individual votes are presented in a database that can be queried to find out who the candidates for a given position has the largest number of votes.

With online voting system, a voter can use his / her right to vote online, without any difficulty. He / she must register as a voter first before being allowed to vote. Registration must be done before the election date to allow updating of data on the database.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The election process begins from voters registration. The method adopted during voters registration goes a long way to determine the freeness and fairness of the election. In Nigeria, voting/registration process is very cumbersome. So many cases, missing data in the voter registration file have been reported. There are also situations where unregistered voters flock to the polling station to participate in the voting process. Even after voting, malicious clerks and officers- in – charge of a polling station end up playing with the result figures.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The aim of this project is

  1. To develop a database for voter’s registration which will in turn help government to conduct a free and fair election using electronic machines.
  2. To replace the current inefficient manual system of voting in Nigeria. To ensure credibility in elections by preventing double voting,
  3. Help the government reduce the huge costs incurred in conducting elections.

1.4 Scope of the Study

The research work is designed to enable National Electoral Commission to use electronic device to capture voter’s information. The design will cover some security issues like authenticating the nationality of the voters through integrating the national ID database to the voter’s registration process and also capturing the picture of the electorates for validation during election.


1.5 Limitations

During the design of this project work, much finance was required and owing to the financial meltdown globally, the research was limited by finance and hence concentrated on the available materials within the locality.


1.6 Significance of the Study

In view of the rapid development of computer technology in virtually all fields of operation and its use in relation to information management, it has become important to look into the development of electronic voters registration system to enable government to achieve the following:

  1. Conduct free and fair election
  2. Safeguard data and information in the system.
  3. Reduced workload in the process of conducting election
  4. Keep accurate record of votes
  5. Reduce time wasted in announcing election result
  6. Eliminate disenfranchising electorates.

1.7 Project Report Organisation

This project was covered under five stages:

  • CHAPTER 1; Deals with the introduction. The background of the project is discussed. The objectives of the project, its significance, scope, and constraints are pointed out.
  • CHAPTER 2; This chapter is a Review of Voters Registration in Some Countries and the literature review.
  • CHAPTER 3; Discusses system Investigation and Analysis. It deals with detailed investigation and analysis of the existing system and problem identification.
  • CHAPTER 4; Treats the system design and implementation
  • CHAPTER 5; The summary and conclusion of the project are finally treated in this chapter.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Voting System:

Is a method by which voters make a choice between options, often in an election or on a policy referendum

E-Voting:

Also known as electronic voting is a term encompassing several different types of voting, embracing both electronic means of casting a vote and electronic means of counting votes.

Information System:

It is a collection of procedures, people, instructions and equipment to produce information in a useful form

Technology:

It is study of techniques or process of mobilizing resources (such as information) for accomplishing objectives that benefit man and his environment

Computer Network:

Is a system that connects two or more computers together using a communication link.

Databases:

A systematically arranged collection of computer data, structured so that it can be automatically retrieved or manipulated. It is also called databank.


Chapter Five


5.0 Recommendation, Summary and Conclusions

5.1 Recommendation

It suffices to say that for any meaningful computer based information management to be integrated into any organization, proper training and orientation has to be given to both staff and management. Proper training should be given to the data entry staff on how to handle the computer hardware especially during backup processes. In particular electronic storage media are usually sensitive to change in temperature or pressure and as such data, can be lost very easily. The staff should also be briefed on the need and advantage of the current system and how it will equally assist them in their various field of work.

They should also be informed of the cost of maintaining this new system so that they will handle it with all carefulness. Training materials should not be presented in an informal way but with procedures like policies and form etc, they should be circulated to the personnel. This will at the end, generate the staff appreciation and needed interest to operate the system.


5.2 Summary

At the end of this project work, I was able to design and develop a software that can successfully handle electronic voter’s registration system. In the process of the design, fist hand information on voter’s registration process was obtained from INEC officials.

This work also will serve as an aid for people who wish to research more on this topic. Other benefits are:

  1. Provision of facility for handling text electronically using powerful and sophisticated word processors to produce elegant and error free documents.
  2. In addition to storing the data, direct data capture was implemented

The systematic approaches used during each phase of the software development provides a clear insight that would be of immense help to anyone carrying out research works in this area.


5.3 Conclusions

The development electronic voter’s registration system involved many phases. The approach used is a top-down one concentrating on what first, then how and moving to successive levels of details.

The first phase started with a detailed study of the problems and prospects of conducting election in Nigeria. In the course of this study, many problems were discovered to have hindered the effectiveness of the existing manual system. These problems, information needs, and activities were documented and later used as the basis for system design, which immediately followed the first phase. The design phase was concerned primarily with the specification of the system elements in a manner that best met the voter’s registration need. During this phase, strict adherence was made on proven software engineering principles and practices. To implement this design, a computer program was then written and tested

It is hoped that effective implementation of this software product would eliminate many problems discovered during systems investigation.


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