The iVote system operates as follows:
- The elector applies to use iVote, just as they might apply for a postal vote: The elector can apply
- On the Internet; or
- By calling a dedicated iVote call-centre.
- When the elector applies they supply a PIN of 6 digits
- A letter of affirmation is sent to the elector’s enrolled address confirming their application for an iVote.
- The elector is then supplied with an iVote Number that will enable them to access the iVote system and vote:
- The iVote number is mailed, sent by email or SMS or can be provided by telephone call for those who have difficulty in accessing written material.
- The iVote number is an 8 digit number, which is provided after the Electoral Roll has closed.
- To use iVote the elector needs both the iVote number and the PIN they provided at the time of application.
Voting with iVote
- The elector can vote over the Internet
- Electors who are blind or vision impaired can use the phone to cast their iVote through the iVote call centre.
- The instructions and the candidate names will be read out by the call centre operator, it will not be computer generated speech or an automated system.
- iVote is WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant
- After signing-in the elector is presented with the Legislative Assembly ballot paper for their district
- Then the elector is presented with the Legislative Council ballot paper, unless it is a by-election and not a State General Election.
- The elector has the ability to review the completed ballot before submitting it – When using the phone this means that the preferences will be read back to the elector.
The elector can take a break from voting on the internet, if necessary, and as long as the elector returns to the voting session within 12 hours.
Once the vote is complete, the elector will receive a receipt number that can be used later to confirm that the vote went into the count.
Is it secure?
There are many measures in place to ensure security and privacy within iVote is as good as or better than the other methods of casting a vote within NSW. These include:
- External expert scrutiny and extensive testing, including intrusion testing and also an audit whenever iVote is used for State General Elections.
- Access by candidate scrutineers, just as for other electoral processes
- Sophisticated encryption to secure votes and automated processes to decrypt and print the votes in a way that ensures each elector’s vote is secret
Parallel systems in different locations to ensure iVote should continue regardless of power failures, hacking attacks, equipment failures etc.
How are the iVotes counted?
- The iVote electronic ballot box is opened after the close of polls and all votes are securely printed in one batch.
- A quorum of election officials with electronic ‘keys’ are required to open iVote to print the votes.
- Scrutineers can be present to observe the ‘unsealing’ and the printing of iVote ballots.
- The printed ballots are sorted by district and go into the normal processes to be counted with the other votes.