Secure Electronic Voting in Malta  

Abstract Category: I.T.
Course / Degree: Masters in I.T. (MIT)
Institution / University: University of Malta, Malta
Published in: 2009

Thesis Abstract / Summary:

The major aim of this Final Year Project (FYP) is to determine the practical viability in the use of electronic voting (or e-voting) in Malta.  Due to the complex nature of e-voting, this study will be mainly focused on the security aspect of electronic voting. 

The study aims at replicating the ease of use of the traditional paper-based voting.  In Malta, citizens who are eligible to vote in an election, use a paper-based ballot when casting their vote.  The Single Transferable Vote (STV) system used in Malta makes it easy for the voter to express his preference especially across different political parties.  On the other hand, this system turns out to be quite complex and time consuming to collate statistics and even worse to finish the counting process and declare the official result of the election.  The application, therefore, should improve the speed and accuracy in counting the votes without being a detriment to the overall security of the whole system.  The study is aimed in finding an optimal solution to these requirements.

The proposed solution is based on research carried out in the field of security as well as lessons learnt from other countries which used or still use electronic voting practices.  Relevant parts of this research are discussed in this document since they serve as a platform for the proposed solution.  The voting method proposed in this study is similar to the conventional way of voting whereby the voter is required to travel to the pre-assigned polling place to cast his vote.  Nevertheless, the voter will be required to use a touch-screen on a voting machine to mark his preference and press submit to cast his vote.  The first step of this study was to generate a threat model which identifies the security measures required by the whole system.  The high-level system requirements using UML, the database design and the system architecture are included as part of this study.

The study confirms the hypotheses on Malta’s adoption of an electronic system.  The aim of designing a secure and trustworthy system with the purpose of replacing a sluggish manual procedure was a success.  The prototype further confirmed some arguments by providing a perfect replica of the paper ballot on top of obligatory security layers.  Electronic voting is recommended as the future to election systems in the Maltese Islands.

Thesis Keywords/Search Tags:
security, online voting, voting in Malta, electronic voting, e-voting, Single Transferable Vote, eID

This Thesis Abstract may be cited as follows:
Micallef, N. (2009), Secure Electronic Voting in Malta, Unpublished MIT Dissertation, September 2009, Department of Computer Science and AI, University of Malta

Thesis Images:
I.T. - Secure Electronic Voting in Malta Figure 8: Flow of Events – Casting a Vote
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I.T. - Secure Electronic Voting in Malta Figure 15: Network Security Design
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I.T. - Secure Electronic Voting in Malta Figure 25: Ballot on Voting Machine
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I.T. - Secure Electronic Voting in Malta Final Year Project Poster
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Submission Details: Thesis Abstract submitted by Neville Micallef from Malta on 08-Mar-2010 11:46.
Abstract has been viewed 7992 times (since 7 Mar 2010).

Neville Micallef Contact Details: Phone: +356 7942 4721

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