No government issue in global history has possibly been as hotly contested as elections, and more than a little fraud has happened at the ballot box. Governments around the world have tried a variety of measures, from armed soldiers at the polling places to voting by smartphone app, to help ensure that the process goes smoothly and fairly.
But every system has its flaws, and that only becomes even more true when technology comes into play. Whether it’s through bugs in the software that runs the actual voting or intentional hacking and counterproductive measures that guarantee a corrupt outcome, the computerized systems have caused many people to become skeptical of the process.
A new software in development for voting in Pakistan addresses a different kind of fraud, though. Instead of multitudes of people voting for only a handful of people, in the case of plot balloting, many people are voting to be selected for only a few pieces of property. The balloting of plots of land has been rife with corruption in a place where premium real estate is as sought-after as winning an election.
According to The Express Tribune, when plots become available in high-dollar neighborhood developments in Pakistan, there’s an application process that hopeful homeowners must go through. Once the applications are in, what amounts to basically drawing names from a hat to see who gets the new opportunity ensues. It’s not only a very inefficient system, it’s also far too easy to rig it in someone’s favor once money changes hands.
That’s why the country’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) will install new software that offers full transparency of the voting process, with the final results posted online. “During the demonstration of the software, the technical capabilities and working of the software were examined. The software would be used in future balloting of plots to ensure transparency in the process,” a spokesperson said.
While it’s certainly no guarantee that the right hacker with the right skill set still couldn’t rig the outcome for a price, it is a step in the right direction towards helping ensure a fair ballot.