The iVote® system operates as follows:
- The elector registers to use iVote®, just as they might apply for a postal vote: The elector can register
- on the internet; or
- by telephoning the iVote Call Centre
- At the time of registration the elector must provide a 6 digit PIN which will be required when voting using the iVote® system.
- Each registered elector who does not provide Secondary Confirmation of Identity (Driver Licence Number or Australian Passport Number) will receive an acknowledgement letter
- The elector is sent an iVote® Number that will enable them to access the iVote® system and vote:
- The iVote® number is sent by SMS, email, post, or can be provided by telephone call as nominated by the elector during registration. The iVote® number is an 8 digit number, which is provided after the Electoral Roll has closed.
- To cast their vote using the iVote® system the elector needs both the iVote® number and the PIN they provided at the time of registration.
Voting with iVote®
- The elector can vote over the internet
- As an alternative to the internet, the elector can cast their vote independently using a telephone keypad or assisted by an operator through the call centre
- iVote® by Web is WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant
- To begin, the elector enters their iVote® number and PIN and makes a Declaration to confirm that they are entitled to vote.
- They are then 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.
- Finally they will be presented with a Referendum ballot paper (if applicable)
- When using the telephone, the instructions and the candidate names will be read out
- 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 return to the voting session at a later time to complete it.
Once the vote is complete, the elector will receive a receipt number
- The verification phone service can be used during the election period to confirm your vote has been captured correctly. The elector enters their receipt number together with the iVote Number and PIN. If they are not correct, the elector can phone the iVote® call centre, re-register and re-vote.
- After the election the elector can go to www.ivote.nsw.gov.au and enter their receipt number to confirm that the vote was included in the count.
Is it secure?
There are safeguards in place to protect the vote from risks including hackers and fraud. There are multiple layers of protection and monitoring to ensure secrecy and privacy.
- 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 the iVote® system should continue regardless of power failures, hacking attacks, equipment failures etc.
How are the votes cast using the iVote® system counted?
- On completion of a vote the ballots are encrypted and stored with all other ballots. The unique credential is linked to each encrypted vote and allows them to be linked to the voter, but only through the separate Credential Management and Registration Systems.
- Encrypted ballots cannot be decrypted and viewed without the quorum of the Electoral Board entering three of the five passwords.
- Scrutineers can be present to observe the decryption ceremony
- Before decryption, all ballots are separated from the unique credential so they cannot be linked to the voter.
- As part of the decryption process the ballots are randomised so that the order of the votes cannot be used to link them to voters.
The iVote ballots will be counted electronically by the Commission once decrypted at the close of the election.