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Tech advances aid bid for smarter polls

How people in Scotland vote could be transformed with advances in technology, computer scientists say.

Researchers are investigating how electronic voting systems could make the casting and counting of votes more efficient and secure.

Using automated systems could also encourage greater turnouts, making it easier for disabled people and those in rural areas to vote.

Open workshop

The University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics is holding a workshop on electronic voting on Wednesday, 29 November.

Academics will discuss how their research could help address the challenges of electronic voting. They are developing digital technologies to improve the privacy, security and reliability.

Other speakers at the event will include the Minister for Parliamentary Business, Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, and Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland.

Equipment suppliers will also demonstrate a range of electronic voting systems.

Joint event

The event has been organised in partnership with the Scottish Government and a consortium of European researchers from academia and industry, known as Panoramix.

The event is free to attend. To register for tickets, please visit: http://edin.ac/2hs0pup

Electronic voting

The School of Informatics is at the forefront of research into the design of such systems, which are used in many countries including India, Brazil and Estonia.

In Scotland, automated systems are currently used only during the final stages of vote counting.

In the world of cyber security, designing and deploying a secure online e-voting system has been frequently called a holy grail. It is thus very exciting that we have the opportunity to bring researchers, suppliers and government together for an interdisciplinary workshop at the School of Informatics. Together we will explore the potential for evolving Scotland’s current technological capabilities in voting systems and envision how our elections will be conducted in the future.

Professor Aggelos KiayiasSchool of Informatics

Related links

School of Informatics

Scotland’s Democratic Future: Exploring Electronic Voting