CSC, a global leader in next-generation IT services and solutions, and the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) have shared the success of iVote, the electronic voting system, at the recent NSW election.
Speaking at the 9th Annual Technology in Government Conference in Canberra, Ian Brightwell, NSWEC CIO said, “The iVote initiative is probably the most significant change we have seen in the electoral process in the last 100 years. The NSW elections in March saw over 200,000 Australians use iVote, with most voters being outside the state and using the Internet to submit their ballots.
Anticipating the increased number of voters who were likely to use the electronic system, the NSWEC worked with CSC to further enhance the security of its voting system. CSC managed the security monitoring of iVote, providing advanced threat analysis and security monitoring through its Security Operations Centres.
Originally developed to allow the visually impaired to easily participate in the democratic process, iVote served voters with literacy issues, disabilities, those who live more than 20 kilometres from a polling place, or are voting from another state or country.
While iVote isn’t intended to replace paper based person voting, Australia’s NSWEC expects a gradual increase in iVote numbers for votes which would otherwise be difficult to issue ballots to in person and/or return for counting.
An independent survey showed that the vast majority of NSW electors used iVote where they were confident security was adequately addressed. They were also confident that the correct candidates were elected because the separate voting channels offered by combining iVote and paper ballots were acceptably aligned at the end of the count.
“When you bring electronic voting into the mix, you have to ensure that the community will trust the outcome,” said Brightwell. “Cybersecurity is not our business. Although it’s important for an electronic voting system, it’s not something we as an organisation would have to deal with at the level that CSC deals with on a daily basis. CSC provided us with a view of the cybersecurity landscape, and of initiatives and opportunities we can engage with to improve our security posture.”
By understanding the types of threat actors that might attack the iVote system, and the landscape in which they operate, CSC helped the NSWEC provide the secrecy, transparency and trust that voters and candidates expect.
“The threats themselves are very dynamic,” said Clinton Firth, CSC Cybersecurity general manager, Australia and New Zealand. “Threat actors evolve through new affiliations, skills and capabilities, and they target and calibrate their actions. Our adoption of an advanced threat-based approach, which focuses on what is happening in the world, is a much better way to secure a system than relying completely on a compliance-based threat approach, which focuses on standards or regulations.”
With many jurisdictions thinking of adopting some form of electronic voting, the NSWEC’s use of electronic voting continues to draw national and international attention as one of the leading electoral bodies to use technology for voting in such a manner.
Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) is a global leader of next-generation information technology (IT) services and solutions. The Company’s mission is to enable superior returns on our clients’ technology investments through best-in-class industry solutions, domain expertise and global scale. CSC has approximately 70,000 employees and reported revenue of $12.2 billion for the 12 months ended April 3, 2015. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.csc.com.
About NSW Electoral Commission
The New South Wales Electoral Commission is an independent statutory authority established under the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912. The NSW Electoral Commissioner is appointed by the Governor to administer the NSW State rolls and to conduct State Parliamentary elections and other elections as authorised by law.