Vote counter and reporter

Yes, we've just seen it again in Iowa, but it's not really a new thing or a new need: Use of electronic voting, counting and reporting is becoming the norm, and so are the problems and lack of trust in the process.

We need to do something.

Your job
Your job is to design and implement an universal tool that can be trusted by everybody to help with voting, counting and reporting in any election.

Universal means that it be made to work (with configuration of course) for any kind of voting or election, be it for a party candidate for a major election to a simple class delegate at your university.

Trust will come from its open source nature which makes the code auditable.

Voting means that your system can be used by the voters to well, vote. This is probably the hardest part to get right as you need to somehow verify the voters identity.

Counting means that for those elections (which are probably all the political ones) in which the votes are counted after everybody has votes it must be possible for the people that are doing the counting to update their counts in real time and most importantly compare their counts in real time: The way it works, at least in some countries, is that after the electoral place closes, the ballot box is opened and the counting starts. That counting is done by several people (possibly selected randomly from the registered voters) but there are interested parties (such as party representatives) verifying that everything is done correctly. Those representatives of course are also keeping their own tallies, and at the end of the counting they must match the official count.

It goes in the interest of the process that everybody involved can see the official tally and everybody's else.

Reporting means that after the counting is over the results can be reported to different places: Depending on who is doing the counting (meaning the user of you application) that reporting will go to their party, to the press, to an “upstream” counting place, or several or those at the same time.

Your system will have a mobile frontend that must be written in Flutter (which generates Android and iOS native aps).

It will also have a backend that can be written in anything, but it must be scalable. For example, a PHP backend is a non-starter. Think of using a massively scalable cloud service as the core of your backend. Remember that your application will have an extremely high usage during a short period of time and then it's over.

Interesting read.

Finally, this system is not supposed to replace paper. We need the paper trail. It's essential.

Qualification tasks
Take a look at this page.

Your proposal should also include reports regarding scalability and fault tolerance of your chosen tech stack. A list of stacks and their performance comparison for the same application can be made from

  • public/gsoc/votecounter.txt
  • Last modified: 2021/03/14 21:07
  • (external edit)