[LINK] AEC: virtual tally room and E-voting

Sylvano sylvano at gnomon.com.au
Wed Jul 2 17:10:14 EST 2008

The Australian Electoral Commission has released its June 2008 Tally board

As well as learning things like "140 kilometres of string for the 2007
federal election," they provide the following info on the virtual tally
room performance and the electronic voting trials conducted:

What does it take to get election results on the internet?
The AEC’s online results centre, the Virtual Tally Room (VTR), was a focus
of the 2007 federal election, with a comprehensive collection of computer
hardware, two data centres in separate capital cities and a large internet
connection ensuring all Australians—both at home and overseas—could follow
developments as they happened on election night and in the subsequent days
and weeks.

The AEC received more than 43 million website hits to the VTR on election
night. This equates to more than three website hits for every enrolled
elector in the country in one night alone.

To manage the volume of website hits, the VTR was constructed to deliver
around 450 mega bits of information per second. The average internet user
might download 1GB of information every month using their ADSL connection
at home.

The VTR was designed to send that much information every few seconds. The
VTR contains approximately 300 unique types of results screens and
generated approximately 1200 individual pages of results every 90 seconds
on election night and over 20 000 pages every 15 minutes in the
post-election period (enough election results to fill a CD-ROM on every 15
minute cycle).

Electronic voting trials
In its review of the 2004 election, the Joint Standing Committee on
Electoral Matters recommended that electronically assisted voting be
trialled at the next federal election. The Government supported these
recommendations and the trials went ahead at the 2007 election.

Defence e-voting trial
A total of 1511 Defence personnel on deployment in Iraq, Solomon Islands,
East Timor and Afghanistan cast their vote electronically in the 2007
federal election.

The Defence e-voting trial saw cooperation between the AEC and Defence in
all matters of implementation. While the AEC developed the software and
housed the voting database, the Defence Restricted Network was the medium
used to transport the encrypted votes.

E-voting trial for people who are blind or have low vision
The AEC worked closely with a reference group, which consisted of
representatives of the major service providers and peak bodies in the
disability sector as well as Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes. In
developing the trial, the AEC also looked at electronic voting systems in
Victoria and the ACT.

Nationally there were 850 votes cast using this system in 29 sites.
Evaluations of the two trials are now being conducted for Parliament’s




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