|Title of Invention||
ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM
|Abstract||Electronic Voting system is a very simple machine requiring minimal training on the part of election officials, contesting candidates and their agents and the voting public. The system can be used for Multiple Posts and Multiple Votes. It is an electronic instrument based on a micro controller designed to collect, record and store, count and display the voting data. The voter has to simple press a button to vote in favor of a candidate of his/her choice. The votes polled for each candidate can be displayed immediately after the poll by the press of a button. The machine incorporates several unique mechanical, electrical and software security features to ensure and protect the integrity of the voting data. The machine retains many of the time tested features and operational sequences of the conventional ballot paper method to enable quick adaptability.|
This invention relates to an Electronic Voting System.
Voting systems adopted throughout the world typically use either Paper Ballots or
mechanical counters. The disadvantages of these systems are
(i) The paper ballots can become physically damaged or altered.
(ii) Inadvertent error of placing the markings in the place not actually intended for
(iii) Sizable expenses involved in printing the ballot papers.
Electronic Voting System are preferable because all the above disadvantages could be eliminated and also further security checks can be included to avoid rigging, booth capturing etc.
Summary of the Invention
Electronic Voting System, henceforth referred to as EVS in this document, is an electronic system/gadget developed specifically for use in the conduct of election to elected bodies based on secret ballot and "multiple posts, multiple votes" principle.
This machine can be used for conduct of election to elected bodies like Parliament/Senate/House of Delegates, State/Country Legislatures, local bodies like municipalities, panchayats, industrial trade unions, etc.
This gadget has been developed after a detailed study of the election procedures and related statutory laws in different countries and conditions prevalent in these covmtries as well as the average literacy levels of the population.
The model, proposed to be patented, is developed based on the cumulative experience gained by the company during the past two decades of involvement with the process of modernizing the election process under the direct supervision and guidance of Election Commission of India. The experience gained during the deployment of the earlier version of the machines in the various elections for Parliament, State Assemblies as well
as in local election of the trade unions has been gainfully utilized for incorporating innovative ideas and procedures to offer a superior system.
Accordingly it is an object of the present invention to provide a simple Electronic Voting System, which is easy to handle, accurate and also cost effective.
It is still further object of the present invention to provide an improved Electronic Voting System, which instills confidence in the Voting public as to the accuracy and relative difficulty in tampering with the system.
It is yet further an object of the present invention to provide an improved Electronic Voting System, which is easy to store, easy to set-up and easy to operate.
Additional objects, advantages and novel features of this invention shall be set forth in the following description.
Disclosure of the Invention
EVS is a very simple machine requiring minimal training on the part of election officials, contesting candidates and their agents and the voting public.
It is an electronic instrument based on a micro controller designed to collect, record, store, count and display the voting data. The voter has to simply press a button to vote in favor of a candidate of his/her choice. The votes polled for each candidate can be displayed immediately after the poll by the press of a button. The System incorporates several unique mechanical, electrical and software security features to ensure and protect the integrity of the voting data. The System retains many of the time-tested features and operational sequences of the conventional ballot paper method to enable quick adaptability.
Electronic Voting System, is a gadget developed specifically for use in conduct of elections to elected bodies based on secret ballot and can be used for one or more posts
and one or more votes in each post. The Electronic Voting System of the present invention comprises of Control Unit, Ballot Unit and Interconnecting Cable.
Control Unit is designed around a micro-controller. This is designed to collect, record, store, count and display the votes when called for. The System, incorporates several unique features to ensure and protect the integrity of the voting data. Top portion of the control unit consists of 4 sections, i.e. Display Section, Cand Set Section, Result Section and Ballot Section. In these sections, the following switches are provided to control the operation. A toggle switch is provided to tum-on/off the control unit and the GREEN 'On' lamp glows when the machine is switched on. When Polling Official presses the ballot button, the RED busy lamp glows. After the voter casts his vote(s), the busy lamp goes off
Cand set button is used for setting the number of posts, number of contesting candidates and the number of votes in each post system. Clear button is required to be pressed before the start of the poll for clearing the System, from the previous data. Ballot button has to be pressed for enabling a voter to record his vote. Total button when pressed will show the total number of voters who cast their votes till then. Once close button is pressed no fiirther voting is possible. This button is to be pressed at Ihe close of poll. The result button is used for displaying the results for all the posts.
Ballot Unit has a green LED, which glows when the voter is permitted to vote and goes off, after the voter casts all his votes. Candidate lamp is provided for each candidate. This glows momentarily when the voter presses the corresponding vote button. The glowing indicates that a vote in favour of that candidate will be recorded in the memory. A four-position slide switch is provided to set the position number of the ballot units. A compartment is also provided to securely house the ballot paper up to 16 candidates and the arrangement for sealing the ballot paper housing.
The said units are interconnected through this cable and housed in a multi part moulded plastic cabinets and the electrical power for operating the units is derived from power pack located in control unit.
In a polling booth, the Control Unit is kept under the control of presiding election officials (presiding officer/polling officer) in such a way that the displays are visible to candidates' agents also. The ballot xrnit is kept in a separate enclosure to enable the voter to exercise his/her franchise secretly. The System is designed to operate on Multiple Post, Multiple Votes (MPMV).
ADVANTAGES OF THE PRESENT INVENTION:
• Eliminates printing of voter wise individual ballot papers. Requires only as many
ballot papers as the number of polling booths in a Constituency. Retains the use
of booth wise ballot paper with serial numbers, names and election symbols of the
candidates. Provides for secured placement of the ballot paper under a
No scope for invalid votes.
Ensures full integrity of voting data.
Enables conduct of elections at a very short notice.
Enables declaration for results on the same day.
Provides for the printing of voter wise voting data in case of election disputes for legal verification.
• Facility to connect to a printer/PC for downloading result/ voter data.
FEATURES OF THE ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM OF THE PRESENT INVENTION.
i) Simple and easy to operate: Election officials require minimxmi training, ii) Easy to comprehend: voters, contestants/ elections agents of political parties, can easily understand it.
iii) Easy to adopt: Retains many of the time tested procedures and operations for
quick adaptability and acceptance of all concerned, iv) Ensures integrity of voting data: Prime importance is given to the integrity of
recording and retaining of voter-wise and candidate wise voting data. v) Economical: Cost of conducting elections is substantially reduced, vi) Portable: Light weight and small in size for easy transportation to polling booths
or mobile polling operation.
In the accompanying drawings:
Fig. 1 shows the overall view of the Control Unit;
Fig. 2 shows the side view of the control unit;
Fig. 3 shows the Ballot Unit;
Fig. 4 shows the block diagram of the Control Unit;
Fig. 5 shows the block diagram of the Ballot Unit; and
Fig. 6 shows the flow diagram of the operational cycle of the voting process.
The Electronic Voting System of the present invention comprises of two parts, i.e. a control unit and a ballot unit, both units being connected by interconnecting cable. The said cable is a shielded cable, one end of which is permanently attached to the Ballot Unit. The other end is attached to a connector with a hood for connecting it to the Control Unit.
The Control Unit controls the polling process and it consists of four sections: a. Display Section; b. Candidate Set Section; c. Result Section and, d. Ballot Section. The various sections of the control unit are controlled by the micro controller which has the program embedded therein. From the block diagram of the said control unit (see Fig. 4), it can be seen that the micro controller is connected to a memory module wherein the voting parameters and the voting data are recorded. The two memory modules help to record the above said data in 'duplicate'. The micro-controller is embedded with a set of instructions to carry out the various functions. The display interface having a printed circuit board is connected to the micro controller and this display interface helps to
display on demand the total number of voters who cast their franchise, the votes polled for each candidate in each post and also display the operational and electrical error conditions, if any. The results are displayed in the removable 6 digit alphanumeric display panel (1 & 2) provided in the control unit. Control switches represented by reference numeral 5 to 11 are connected to the said micro controller. The said control switches act as the input devices and will send the necessary request to the micro controller, which will process the requests and display the results in the display panel (1 &2). The fimctions of the control switches are listed herein under:
ON/OFF Switch: Reference Numeral 5: A toggle switch 5 to turn on/off battery power to Control Unit. The switch 5 is placed in the rear side of the control unit as shown in Fig. 1. Candidate set button: Reference Numeral 6: To set the number of posts, number of contesting candidates and number of votes for each post in conjunction with corresponding Ballot Unit (s). This button is placed in the Candidate Set Section B of the Control unit.
Clear Button: Reference Numeral 7: To clear all the previously recorded voting data and set all the counts to zero. This is placed in the result section C of the control unit. Ballot Button: Reference Numeral 8: This switch is placed in the ballot section D of the control imit, to permit the voter to cast votes. This is similar to the issue of ballot paper in conventional voting.
Total Button: Reference Numeral 9: To display the number of voters who have cast their votes. This switch is also placed in the ballot section of the control unit.
Close Button: Reference Numeral 10: To close the polling operation after which no further votes are accepted.
Result Button: Reference Numeral 11: To display sequentially the total votes polled for each candidate in all the posts
The switches 10 and 11 are placed in the result section of the control unit.
The Candidate Set Section B (Fig.l) houses a Power Pack compartment (15) and a "Cand Set* button (6). This section has a cover (Door III), which opens from left to right. On Opening its cover, by pressing the latch on the left hand side, the two compartments are seen. The Power Pack compartment is on the left side of the Candidate Set Section and is for fixing the Power Pack. The 'Cand Set' button compartment on the right side is covered with a flap 'f' which opens from left to right and can be sealed by thread seal. In this compartment a red 'Cand Set' (6) button is located. The Candidate Set Section can be closed and sealed by thread seal.
The cover (Door II) of the Result Section 'C has an elliptical aperture 'api' on the left hand side through which the 'Close' button (10) is seen. The left portion of the Result Section houses a black 'Close' button (10). The right portion is actually an inner compartment with its own door (Door I).
The door of the inner compartment has two elliptical apertures "ap ii & ap iii". Through ap ii the button (11) marked 'Result' is seen. The inner door can be opened by inserting the thumb and a forefinger through these two apertures and then pressing the latches inwards and simultaneously pulling the cover upwards. Care should be taken to avoid any damage to this most vital compartment. On opening the door of the inner compartment, there will be seen on its inner side a frame around the two apertures for fixing Green Paper Seal. This will also reveal three sub sections with a yellow buttons marked 'Result' and a white 'Clear' button.
In the Ballot Section 'D' there are two buttons - a grey 'Total' button (9) and a large blue 'Ballot' button (8), as can be seen in Fig.l, Two 9 pin D-type interface connectors 13 & 14 are provided for connecting to Ballot Unit and to printer Interface.
The bottom portion 16 of the Control Unit has also a compartment with a cover. This cover is hinged in the bottom and opens swinging downwards, when the latch in the middle is pressed downwards. This has a provision for thread sealing. The cover, when
opened will reveal a plug on the left hand side for plugging the Interconnection cable from the Ballot Unit and a Tower' switch in the middle, for switching the EVS ON or OFF (Fig. 1)
The green 'ON' Lamp (3) is located at the top left comer of the Display Section. When the Power switch is pushed upwards to the 'ON' position, the lamp glows to indicate that the EVS is ready for use.
The red 'Busy' lamp (4) is located at right comer of the Display Section. It glows when the 'Ballot' button is pressed by the polling official to enable the voter to cast his vote. It goes off when the voter has cast his vote.
Security Seal Mechanism
• The control switches are located in three different compartments, which can be sealed by thread and lac. This will prevent the un-authorized operation of these buttons either during of after polling.
• Security paper seal mechanism for result and clear compartment
• Thread/lac seal-mechanism.
First seal for result and clear compartment.
Second seal for composite 'close' button and result and clear compartments.
Third seal for candidate set and battery compartment.
The micro controller is also connected to a buzzer interface having a buzzer (Ref, Fig. 4). The Buzzer gives an aural indication when a voter exercises his/her franchise and also while displaying total votes polled for each candidate. The micro controller can be optionally connected to a printer interface for interfacing with a computer or for printing purposes. The micro controller is also provided with an interface along with the
necessary connector (see fig 2) to enable the connection between the Ballot Unit and Control Unit.
The Ballot Unit is that unit of the machine, which the voter operates to exercise his franchise. It consists of a rectangular box. The box, which is as shown in fig.3, has -
a. Interconnecting Cable - 20 with connector pin 19
b. Ready Lamp-18
c. Slide Switch Panel - SL
d. 16 Candidates' Buttons - marked 'a'
e. 16 Candidates' Lamps with "arrow" mark and
f. Provision for insertion of Ballot paper containing the SI. Nos, Names and Election
Symbols of contesting candidates under a transparent acrylic sheet (17) (Ballot
The interconnecting cable (20) is a shielded cable, one end of which is permanently attached to the Ballot Unit. To its other end is attached the connector with a hood (not shown) for connecting it to the Control Unit.
The *Ready Lamp' (18) is on the top left side of the Ballot Unit. This green lamp glows when the 'Ballot' button on the Control Unit is pressed by the Presiding Officer to enable the voter to cast his vote(s). It goes off when the voter has cast his vote(s).
The Slide Switch Panel 'SL' is on the top right side. The Slide Switch inside the Ballot Unit can be operated to set any one of the four positions viz., 1, 2, 3 or 4. When only one Ballot Unit is to be used, the Switch is to be set to 1. The Position of the switch is indicated through the transparent panel on the unit. If a second Ballot Unit is used, the Switch in that unit is set to position 2 and so on.
The voter records his vote by pressing the Candidate's button against the name and symbol of the Candidate of his choice. When the Button is pressed, the red Lamp arrow mark (Candidate's lamp) on the left side of that button glows and the votes are recorded at the end of voting. The software has the flexibility of allowing the last candidate button in a ballot unit to be used for the end of the voting process of a voter.
The Ballot Unit has a provision for inserting on its top face the Ballot Paper in which the SI. Nos., Names and Symbols of the contesting candidates are printed. A transparent acrylic sheet (17) (Ballot Paper Screen) protects the Ballot paper.
The top cover of the Ballot Unit is opened by pressing simultaneously, towards the right, the latches at the top and bottom of the right edge of the Unit. The inside of the Unit is as in fig. 1. Sixteen Candidates' buttons are visible, each having an associated masking tab. The buttons that are required to be used should not be covered or masked. The buttons which are not required to be used should be covered or masked with their associated masking tabs.
The housing is a multi part injection molded plastic cabinet with a cover (21). Special sliding mechanisms (not shown in the drawings) are provided for masking the xmused Vote Buttons.
The block diagram of the ballot unit is shown in fig 5. As can be seen from fig 5, the microcontroller is the centre of the Ballot Unit having a set of instructions embedded therein. The same is connected to the visual indicator LEDs 1 to 16 represented by an arrow mark and candidate switches i.e. buttons 1 to 16 generally represented by reference numeral 'a' in fig. 3. It is further connected to a slide switch and the necessary connectors for power supply and for connecting to the control unit.
The software is based on the flow chart given in Fig (6). After factory programmed, the system is in clear state with default parameters. Before an election, the input parameter
for the election i.e. the number of posts, the number of contesting candidates and the number of votes are set with the candidate set key using the candidate buttons in the ballot units. The system is ready for use for voting. The Ballot key is pressed when each candidate has to vote. The Red Lamp on the Control Unit is an indication to the polling official of the readiness of the unit to accept a vote and the Ready Lamp on the Ballot Unit is an indication to the voter that the system is ready to accept a vote. Once the voter has exercised his franchise there is a visual and audio indication to the voter that his votes are recorded. The lamps on the Control Unit and Ballot Unit then go off. During the voting process, there is a feature for checking if any Ballot Keys is in a jammed condition or the interconnecting cable is disconnected/loose. The former gives a Pressed error message "P#" and later gives a Link error message "L#', where # indicates the Ballot Unit with the error condition. At the end of the poll the close button is pressed after which no further voting is allowed. The Result button is pressed for result display. If any key is pressed out of the above sequence, 'no' is displayed.
The data is encoded and retained in redundant memory banks for the integrity of data. The data is verified for correctness in writing to memory. During computation of the result this data is read and compared from the memory banks before final display. In case of any error, the software also provides for display of voting data up to the instant prior to the error condition.
FUNCTIONS OF CONTROL UNIT:
The Control Unit is designed to perform the following functions. SETS:
• The number of posts and the number of candidates and votes in each post. Permits
• Each voter to cast votes for each post.
Votes cast in favour of each candidate
Total number of voters who cast their votes. Displays
On demand the total number for voters who cast their vote
On demand, the votes polled for each candidate in each post
Operational and electrical error conditions if any Provides
Non-volatile memory for full voting data.
Hardware and software locks for data protection.
Printing of voting data, through a dedicated interface Unit, on orders from Courts
Visual indication of the readiness of the Control Unit to permit voting, signifying
issue of a ballot.
Aural indication when a voter exercises his/her franchise.
Aural indication while displaying total votes polled for each candidate.
Erasing previously recorded voting data for subsequent use after ensuring the
recall of the result of the poll at least once. The Control unit is provided with a housing which is a multi part injection molded plastic cabinet conforming to standard industrial design aspects.
FUNCTIONS OF BALLOT UNIT:
The ballot Unit is designed to perform the following functions:
A compartment 17, to securely house a copy of the ballot paper for up to 16 candidates.
A Separate lamp, for each candidate, adjacent to the candidate's Vote Button, to glow momentarily when the voter exercises the franchise by pressing a button.
For setting the Ballot Unit position using the Slide Switch depending on the number of contesting candidates.
Both the Control Unit and the Ballot Unit are provided with carrying cases.
OPERATION: Before the Electronic Voting System is sent to the Polling Stations, the Ballot Unit has to be prepared by the Officer-in-charge as given below:
a) Inserting the Ballot paper,
b) Masking the Candidate's buttons, which are not required to be used,
c) Setting the Slide Switch at the appropriate position, i.e. 1,2,3, or 4 as the case may be, according to the number of such units which are to be used (which depends on the number of candidates) and the sequence in which they are to be used and
d) Sealing the xmit.
After taking out the Ballot Unit from the carrying case, the top cover of the imit may be opened carefully by pressing simultaneously, towards the right, the latches at the top and bottom on the right edge of the unit (Ref. Numeral 22-fig.3), and swinging the cover up. (Ref. Numeral 21-fig.3).
OPENING OF BALLOT PAPER SCREEN
Open the Ballot Paper Screen, which is a transparent acrylic sheet, hinged to the top cover on the extreme left side. The release latches of the screen are inside the top cover (Ref. Numeral 21). By pressing the latches simultaneously, first slightly towards right and then pushing them downwards, the Ballot Paper Screen will become free for opening on the upper side of the said top cover. While opening the screen care should be taken to ensure that it is not damaged.
FIXING OF BALLOT PAPER
Place the Ballot P^er in the space provided for the purpose on the upper side of the top cover. Align the Ballot paper properly so that each candidate's name and his symbol are in line with the corresponding Candidate's lamp and button. After ensuring this alignment, close and press fit the Ballot Paper Screen to secure the Ballot Paper firmly underneath that screen.
After the Ballot Paper has been firmly fixed and the Ballot Paper Screen has been pressed fit on the upper side of the Top Cover, the screen is to be sealed on the inner side of the Top Cover. This is to be done by passing the thread through the two holes on the screen specially provided for the purpose and by putting the thread seal on the prescribed address tag showing the particulars of the election with the seal of the Returning Officer.
MASKING OF CANDIDATES' BUTTONS
If the number of Candidates on the ballot paper is less than 16, the white masking tabs should be moved onto the Candidates' buttons not required to be used.
SETTING OF SLIDE SWITCH
Inside the Ballot Unit on the top right side, there is a Slide Switch, which has four positions 1,2,3 and 4. If only one Ballot Unit is to be used, set this Switch to the position marked * 1'. If two Ballot Units are to be used, set this Switch to the position marked ' 1' in the Ballot Unit which will be connected to the Control unit and set this Switch to the position marked *2' in the second Ballot Unit which will be connected to the first Ballot unit. If three Ballot Units are to be used, the Slide Switch will be set to the position marked *3' in the third Ballot Unit which will be connected to the second Ballot unit and so on. The first Ballot Unit will have the names of candidates from positions 1 to 16 of the ballot paper and the second Ballot Unit will have the names of contesting candidates from positions 17 to 32 of the ballot paper and so on.
Close the Ballot Unit by bringing the top cover back to its original position. Pass two threads, one through the three holes at the top and the other through the three holes at the bottom provided for the purpose and seal each thread with Returning Officer's seal.
The Control Unit is to be prepared by the Returning Officer by-
a) Installing the Power Pack.
b) Setting the number of contesting candidates
c) Sealing the 'Cand Set' button compartment and
d) Sealing the Candidate Set Section
POWER PACK INSTALLATION
Open the cover of the Candidate Set Section by pressing slightly inward the latch provided on the left side. Install the Power Pack specially supplied by mating the socket of the Power Pack to the plug. Ensure that Power Pack is pressed tight.
SETTING THE NUMBER OF CONTESTING CANDIDATES
After connecting the Power Pack, open the compartment at the bottom of the Control Unit as explained above, and proceed as follows for setting the No. of contesting candidates:
a) Connect the Ballot Unit to the Control Unit by plugging the connector of the Interconnecting Cable in the plug in that compartment. As the connector and the plug are multi-pin connectors, it will need some practice to plug them properly. The connector goes into the socket only one way, which can be found out easily by looking at the orientation of the pins and Top' of the hood. As the pins are delicate, do not force the connector in such a way as it may damage or bend the pins. The EVS will work only when this connection is made properly.
b) After plugging the connector properly, push the Tower' switch to 'ON' position. It will give a beep sound and the green "ON" lamp on the Display Section of the Control Unit will glow.
c) After the *0N' lamp glows, press the 'Cand Set' button in the Candidate Set Section. There upon the 2 digit Display Panel in the Display Section will now flash the letters 'nP' and the 4 digit Display Panel will flash *- -'.
d) When the letters 'nP', '- -' start flashing on the Display Panels on the Control Unit, press the Candidate's button in Ballot Unit corresponding to the number of posts. For example, if there are 4 posts, press the 4* candidate's button. Depending on the number of posts, the system next prompts for the first and last contesting candidate position for each post sequentially by flashing "F# - - " followed by "L# - - " , where " # " varies from 1 to the number of posts. The values for these two displays are entered using the ballot keys corresponding to the first and last candidates on the ballot paper for each post " # ". Finally the votes for each post is prompted by the system and the corresponding data entered using the ballot key in a maimer similar to that of setting the number of posts.
e) Switch OFF the EVS by pushing the "Power" switch downwards to OFF position and discoimect the Interconnecting Cable from the Control Unit. For this purpose, the spring type clips on both sides of the connector hood should be pressed inward simultaneously and then the connector pulled out. Then close the cover of the bottom compartment of the Control Unit.
SEALING THE 'CAND SET' BUTTON COMPARTMENT
Close the flap which houses the Cand Set button and pass a thread through the two holes provided on the left side and seal with the seal of the Returning Officer. While sealing take care that direct flame does not come in contact with the Control Unit and molten wax does not fall on any part of the Control Unit.
SEALING THE CANDIDATE SET SECTION.
Close the Candidate Set Section. Pass a thread through the two holes provided on the left side and seal with the seal of the Returning Officer. While sealing take care that direct flame does not come in contact with the Control Unit and molten wax does not fall on any part of the Control Unit.
Put back the Ballot Unit and the Control Unit in their respective carrying cases. They are ready for transportation to the Polling Station.
On the day of Election, the presiding Office shall make the following preparations:
The Ballot Unit will be checked to see if the Ballot Paper is properly fixed in place and that the two seals are intact.
In the Control Unit, the presiding officer will check if the Candidate Set Section is intact and then connect the Ballot Unit to the Control Unit by plugging the connector of the interconnecting cable, put the Tower' switch to 'ON' position and then close the bottom compartment. Then open the 'Result' Section in the Control Unit and press the 'Clear' button to set all coimts to 'ZERO'. This takes about fourteen seconds and the buzzer is 'ON' during the clearing process.
On completion of the clearing process, the display panel will start displaying that all counts are set to 'ZERO' sequentially (i.e. one by one, the display panel will show the total number of posts followed by the total votes polled for each candidate in each post).
If need be the presiding officer will conduct a "MOCK POLL" in the presence of some polling agents & others.
During the actual poll, the 'Result Section' should be sealed using special security paper serially numbered. This paper seal has to be firmly fixed in the inner cover frame of the Result Section. A thin cardboard padding may be provided. The seal should be so fixed that its green surface is seen through the apertures from the outer side. Here is also a provision for making a thread seal on the left side of the inner door. After this, the outer cover of the Result Section has to be pressed for closing this section.
PROCEDURE DURING POLL
The Poll shall commence at the hour fixed for such commencement. Press the Total' button and ensure that the total voters who polled is zero. After all procedural requirements relating to identification of voter, application of indelible ink on his forefinger and obtaining his signature/thumb impression in the Register of Voters have been completed with regard to the first voter, the voter concemed has to be allowed for recording his vote. For that purpose, press the 'Ballot' button on Ballot Section of the Control Unit which would make the Ballot Unit ready for recording of the vote by that voter as has been explained herein above. Repeat that procedure every time the next voter is to be allowed to record his vote. It should be ensured that only one voter goes inside the voting compartment to vote. Special care should be taken to ensure that a voter goes in that compartment in the same order in which his Name is entered in the 'Register of Voters.' Also ensure that the Ballot button is pressed only when the earlier voter has come out of the voting compartment. At any time, if the total number of voters who polled has to be ascertained, 'Total' button should be pressed. The Display panel will then show the total number of voters who polled till that time. Please remember that the Total' button is to be pressed only when the 'Busy' lamp is OFF.
After the close of the poll, the close button will be pressed. When this button is pressed the display panel will show the total number of voters who cast their franchise during the day.
On the day of counting, after making the necessary checks, the Result button in the Control Unit is pressed to start the Result computation process. On completion of the result computation process, the total number of candidates, the total number of votes and the total number of votes cast for each candidate for each post will be displayed in the 'Display Panel' sequentially.
Uniqueness of the invention:
The software for setting the number of contesting candidates works in a imique way and provides a simple and efficient method to set the machine to accept the number of posts, the number of contesting candidates and the number of votes and in each post.
The 'display on demand' provision in the control unit greatly reduces the power requirements for the machine and at the same time provides adequate time for the viewer to take note of the displayed data.
The software, which detects the presence of ballot units, works in a unique way. When the ballot key is pressed and is a valid key, the software periodically checks for the presence of the ballot unit and gives a clear audio-visual indication (Link Error) regarding the error condition if the ballot unit is discoimected.
The provision in software for reading back the vote data as soon as it is written in the memory provides a unique way of continuously checking the memory retention as well as functioning and leads to "so far so good" type of working. Error at any time during the poll is immediately detected and further polling is stopped. The votes recorded till then are secure and the result of the poll thus far conducted can be seen at the time of counting. Poll can be continued with a new system.
The software for the detection of pressed error condition works in a unique way to detect the jammed buttons on the ballot unit. Under this error condition, the control unit display P followed by the number of the ballot unit in error condition.
The provision to include an error-checking bit with the recording of each vote inside the memory greatly enhances the reliability of the recorded data.
The provision to record the votes cast by a voter in "DUPLICATE" inside the control unit helps in computing and displaying the result of the poll in a more reliable fashion. This feature also provides for adequate redundancy of data storage.
The unique software inside the control unit provides for a sequence looking for the
control buttons - ballot, close, result, clear and Cand Set in such a way that
i) Contesting Candidate setting data cannot be changed unless the machine is in the
condition, ii) Votes cannot be cast on the machine unless it is in the cleared condition, iii) Votes cannot be added to the machine once it is closed (by pressing the close
button), iv) Result cannot be seen unless the machine is closed (by pressing the close button) v) The machine caimot be cleared (by pressing the clear button) unless the result is
seen at least once.
The interlocking feature built into the software in the control unit, which requires the connection of ballot unit for the clear operation to commence, prevents accidental erasure of voting data.
The control unit has the unique feature of retaining the voting data without the need for applying any power.
The control unit can retain, securely, the voting data without any power connection for up to 10 years.
The control unit can be switched off safely at any stage of operation and still continue to work satisfactorily after reapplying the power.
The mechanical blocking tabs provided in the ballot unit to block the unused candidate buttons with color identical to that of the body of the ballot unit removes any confusion in the minds of the voter regarding the actual candidate buttons in use. This also prevents votes being cast on buttons not in use.
The software in the control unit for scanning the candidate keys in the ballot unit works in a unique way such that only the buttons of those candidates who are in poll are scanned Rest of the buttons as well as boxes if coimected is ignored.
No invalid vote can be cast on the voting machine.
The hardware daisy chaining provision implemented in the ballot unit prevents wrong connection of the ballot units when more than one ballot unit is used (As in the case where the number of contesting candidates is more than 16), The control unit always detects any error in the sequential connection of the ballot units at the appropriate time and an error message is flashed and further operation stopped. This prevents wrongly registering of votes on the machine.
The locking pins, provided under the transparent ballot paper screen on the Ballot unit, prevent the movement of the ballot paper placed under the screen.
No part inside the machine requires periodic reconditioning or replacement.
The system has the unique feature of providing for a maximum of eight posts and the maximum number of contesting candidates depends on the number of ballot buttons blocked on the ballot paper for identifying the post. So for four groups, the number of contesting candidates could be sixty (64 - 4).
The cabinet designs for both the control unit and the ballot unit provide for adequate interlocking of the required functions/keys.
The carrying cases provided separately for the control unit and the ballot units provide for easy transport of the machines and also enable them to be carried over rugged terrain without causing any damage to the units.
1. An Electronic Voting System specifically to conduct elections based on secret ballot for multiple posts and multiple votes which comprises of: (i) A control unit having an unique Micro controller embedded with a set of instructions to collect the votes, record, store, count and display the same when called for, the said micro controller being connected to a memory module for storing the votes cast, an alphanumeric display interface along with a display printed circuit board to display the necessary information as and when called for, a Buzzer interface to give aural indications, a ballot unit interface along with the necessary connector, all being housed in a housing, the outer top portion of the control unit is being divided into four sections, i.e. (a) display section where an alphanumeric display is provided for displaying data and error messages; an indicator to indicate that the voting machine is "ON'; another indicator which glows when the ballot button is pressed to enable voter to record vote and turns off when the vote is recorded; (b) candidate Set section wherein the control switch
"candidate set button" to set the number of posts, the number of contesting
candidates and the number of votes for each post in conjunction with
corresponding ballot unit(s) and a compartment for power pack are
■ located; a separate cover for the candidate set button and a separate door
for locking the entire section being provided; (c) Result Section wherein
"Close button" to close the polling operation is located on one side and the
other side having a separate cover is provided with a control switch "clear
button" to clear all the previously recorded voting data and set all the
counts to zero; and control switch marked "result button" to display the
results sequentially; a door being provided to lock the entire section; (d)
Ballot section wherein the control switches "Ballot button" to permit the
voter to cast a vote; 'Total button" to display the number of voter who
polled; a control switch 'Toggle switch" to turn on/off battery power to
control unit along with two connectors are being provided on the rear side thereof; and (ii) A ballot unit having a housing wherein a Microcontroller having a set of instructions embedded therein is housed along with a green LED which glows when the voter is permitted to vote and goes off after the voter cast his/her vote; candidates lamp, one for each candidate which glows momentarily when the corresponding vote button is pressed by the voter indicating the record of a vote in favour of that candidate, 16 vote buttons and 16 masking tabs, one for each candidate that records the voters franchise, a slide switch to set the position number of the ballot units, the housing being covered by a door wherein provisions have been made to receive the visual indications and a compartment to securely house a copy of the ballot paper for up to 16 candidates.
(iii) The said units being interconnected by cable and housed in a multi part moulded plastic cabinet and the electrical power for operating the said units being derived from a battery kept in the control unit.
2. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in claim 1, wherein the micro controller of the control imit has means which detects the presence of ballot units and gives a clear audio-visual indication (Link Error L#) regarding the error condition if the unit is disconnected.
3. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein means for detecting the jammed buttons on the ballot unit is provided in the control unit with the display of 'P#' (Pressed Error in the ballot unit #).
4. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the
memory module has two memory banks wherein the vote cast by a voter is
recorded in "Duplicate" along with an error checking bit.
5. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein an unique firmware is provided in the control unit to compute the result of the poll,
6. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein an interlocking means is built in the firmware which requires the connection of ballot unit for the clear operation to commence, prevents accidental erasure of voting data.
7. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the control unit has the provision to retain the voting data without the need for applying any power.
8. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the control unit can retain securely, the voting data without any power connection for upto 10 years.
9. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the control unit is provided with means to output the result/voting data on the printer interface connector of the Control Unit.
10. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein mechanical blocking tabs are provided in the ballot unit to block the unused
candidate's buttons with colour identical to that of the body of the ballot unit.
11. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein
means are provided in the micro controller for scanning the candidate keys in the ballot unit, which works in a unique way such that only the buttons of those candidates who are in poll are scanned.
12. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 11, wherein the
ballot unit has daisy chaining provision to prevent wrong connection of the ballot
units when more than one ballot unit is used.
13. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein
locking pins are provided under the ballot paper screen on the ballot unit, to
prevent movement of the ballot paper placed under the screen,
14. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13, wherein
means are provided such that the ballot unit can be used for up to 64 candidates.
15. An Electronic Voting System as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 14, wherein
interlocking means are provided to lock the required control switches.
|Indian Patent Application Number||388/CHE/2004|
|PG Journal Number||50/2007|
|Date of Filing||28-Apr-2004|
|Name of Patentee||M/S. ELECTRONIC CORPORATION OF INDIA LIMITED|
|Applicant Address||AT ECII (P.O), HYDERABAD - 500 062,|
|PCT International Classification Number||G 06 F 17/60|
|PCT International Application Number||N/A|
|PCT International Filing date|