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Online Voting

Online voting - Overview

 

Online voting is only available to AFRINIC Members.


By default, AFRINIC Organisation's Registered Contacts are the only ones who can vote. However, the Organisation Contact may assign the voting rights to other authorised contacts to vote on their behalf according to Section 12.12 of AFRINIC Bylaws. See the Proxy appointment process for more details.

Online voting is only accessible via MyAFRINIC. To vote online, a valid AFRINIC digital certificate (BPKI) must be installed. An AFRINIC certificate can be requested via MyAFRINIC upon login under member's account, click here to learn more about this process.

The voting section in MyAFRINIC is only visible while the online voting is open. Online voting in AFRINIC Board elections opens approximately two weeks and closes the day before the on-site election is held at the AGMM

An online vote cannot be withdrawn after it has been submitted. AFRINIC takes no responsibility for online votes submitted by users who are no longer authorized by the AFRINIC Member organisation.

For audit purposes, AFRINIC records the Member and user name of the submitted vote, the time, and the IP address of the voter (All the contacts of a given organisation will receive a mail after a vote is casted with all these information as well). The specific choice exercised by the voter is NOT kept with the ballot record.

 


 

Introduction

 

This page gives a brief description of the online voting system. The system is currently up on MyAFRINIC. However, the page content, i.e. instructions and confirmation messages have not yet been included. This will cover:

  • Basic navigation
  • Proxy generation via the MyAFRINIC interface.
  • Voting online via the MyAFRINIC interface

Navigation

Currently, all contacts can access the Elections tab.

1

The 'Elections' menu has two links:

  • 'Information': This will display information about the election.
  • 'Access Election Center: This sends the user to a page where he/she will be able to select whether he/she wants to generate a proxy or vote online.

At the back

NB.  When the user selects the 'Access Election Center' link, they are presented with the Choice Page. On the 'Choice' page, there are two options: 'Generate a Proxy', and 'Vote Online'. If a member already has a proxy, he/she is redirected to the page that shows the proxy names and organizations. If they choose 'Vote Online', then they are redirected to the 'Vote Online' section where they can cast their vote.

Please Note: You cannot access the 'Elections' page if you are in arrears. You need to clear any balance due before you can vote.

 

2

 



Generate proxy


Selecting the "Generate proxy" button will redirect the user to a form where he/she will specify the names of proxies.

3

Here you can choose two names and their organization(s). Submitting the form will update the database and display the name of the proxy, as shown below:

4

At this point, the user can download the proxy form by clicking on the 'Download proxy' link. Thereafter, in a case where the member has a proxy, when clicking on the 'Access Election Center' link, he/she will be automatically redirected to the proxy view page.

 



Security - BPKI Certificate (optional)


Only contacts that have received and have a valid BPKI certificate will be allowed access to the Election Centre. If the contact does not have a BPKI certificate, they will neither be allowed to appoint a proxy nor vote online. Administrative contacts who do not have their BPKI certificate should send an e-mail to " This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " with necessary identifying documents (e.g. National ID card, first two pages of a valid passport or driver's license). Once their request has been approved, he/she will be able to access the Election section of MyAFRINIC.

If you are not an Administrative contact (for e.g. a technical contact), you can make a request directly within MyAFRINIC by clicking on the "Request BPKI" button, the Administrative contacts of your organisation will receive an email and shall accept your request.

To be able to vote, the user must select a valid BPKI certificate.

5 

If the user wants to vote online, he/she selects the second button, submits and gets to the voting page.

6

 



Voting in an Election


On this page, click on 'Vote in this election' button. You will then be presented with a list of instructions on how to vote. For example, in an AFRINIC Board Members Election, there will also be a list of candidates from different regions. After 'selecting' the candidate you prefer from the first region, you will be taken to the rest. The process then continues until you have selected candidates you prefer to elect from all the regions.

7

Select an answer [you will be allowed to choose only one answer] and click "Next" to go the next question.

8

 

Select an answer [you will be allowed to choose only one answer] and click on "Proceed" to go to the next step where you will be given the chance to do any of the following:

  • Edit your selections
  • Confirm your selections and encrypt your ballot

 9

 

If satisfied with your choices, you can encrypt the ballot by clicking on "Confirm Choices and Encrypt Ballot". It may take a while for this process to complete. Once the encryption process is finished you will be shown your unique "ballot tracker", which you can print, copy or email to yourself so that you could use it during the course of the election to track your vote.

Note

If your vote has not been cast, you will be presented with two steps:

  • Proceed to cast your ballot
  • Verify that your vote was correctly encrypted (the package will decrypt your vote to reveal the selection that you made). If you choose to do this, your current vote will be nullified and you will be required to re-encrypt your vote.

Here is the link to show you the steps to verify that your vote was correctly encrypted.

10

Click on 'Proceed to Cast' and you are given the final chance to confirm that you want to cast your vote. If you are happy with your selection, confirm that you are voting for your organization by clicking on the confirm button. If you decide to cancel, then your vote will not be recorded and you can come back at any time to cast  your ballot. However, you will be required to go through the entire voting process again.

11

The system will cast your vote (this may take a few moments to complete). You are then presented with a confirmation page.

12

You are now done and can return to the 'Election' home page from where you can ALWAYS monitor the election process and progress.

 



Single Ballot Verifier (before casting)


Use this to verify a single ballot prior to casting your real ballot. These ballots are not cast and will not be counted. They are just here for auditing purposes, to check or confirm that voters' choices are properly encrypted. Click on 'Select your ballot audit info' to select all the text in the text area. Copy the selection and then click on 'ballot verifier' (a new window or tab will be opened) to open the ballot verifier where you will be able to paste the text you just copied.

 13

14

Note

After verifying the ballot, you can post the result of the audit to the ballot tracking center by clicking 'post audited ballot to tracking center'. This will allow everyone to see that you audited your ballot. After pasting the text you copied, click on 'Verify' to start the verification process.

15

The system will do the verification and post the results as below.

16 

You can go back to the main voting booth and either post audited ballot in the tracking center or go back to cast a real vote.

 



Vote cast verification (after casting)


After you cast your ballot, the only means available to check your vote is to use your encrypted vote to validate against your fingerprint; your fingerprint is the base-64-string-encoded SHA256 of the vote data structure serialized as JSON.

Note that your vote is stored in an encrypted form in the database, which means that nobody, not even the administrators can see the content of your vote. Tampering with an encrypted vote will simply invalidate it.

  1. Click on the election url that you received in your email.

  2. Click on « voters & ballots »
  3. Click on « view » next to your name and fingerprint
  4. Click on « details » to see the complete content of your encrypted vote as it is in the helios database. Copy this data structure into a file.
  5. Download the verification script here
  6. Run the following command "python helios_vote_verify.py
    where is the path of the file you created in Step 3.
    The output should be the same as the fingerprint you received by mail when your vote was cast.


Helios Voting Package


  • AFRINIC is using a Web-based Open-Audit system called Helios.
  • An FAQ about the Helios Voting software can be found here.
  • A paper on how an open-audit truly verifiable voting system, authored by Dr. Ben Adida, can be found here.
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