Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 15:01:12 -0700
Reply-To: Neal Langerman <chemsaf**At_Symbol_Here**IX.NETCOM.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Neal Langerman <chemsaf**At_Symbol_Here**IX.NETCOM.COM>
Subject: E-ballot
CHAS Members -

As current Chair, I need your input, fast on electronic ballotting.  The
issue will be put before ACS Council in Philly in 14 days.  The issue is
whether ACS (and DivCHAS) should use e-ballots for all elections.  ACS
has prepared a list of FAQs, as follows ...

If you have feelings either way, please let me know by 8/17 - I leave
for the east on 8/18 and want to have some idea about your feelings
before the DivCHAS Executive meeting.


Neal Langerman - Chair, DivCHAS, 2004

Frequently Asked Questions about e-Balloting
If the petition before Council passes, when will e-balloting be used in
an ACS National Election?
The proposal to vote over the Internet would go on the 2004 national
election ballot.  If approved by membership, e-balloting could be used
for the 2005 national election.
Who will develop the e-balloting technology and conduct the presidential
ACS will use an experienced external vendor to develop the technology
and conduct the election.  There are several well-qualified vendors in
this industry with a record of accomplishment in using e-balloting for
association elections.
Will voting over the Internet discourage members who are more
comfortable voting by mail?
Elections will be conducted via "hybrid" methods, combining mail and
Internet voting.  Members will therefore have a choice, voting either by
the mail ballot or over the Internet.
How will e-balloting prevent fraudulent balloting?
Before each election, the vendor will generate a unique PIN (Personal
Identification Number) for each voting member.  The PIN will be used to
identify the member to the system and to resolve any issues with respect
to double voting.  The PIN can only be used once.
What happens if a member votes twice, once over the Internet and again
through the mail?
A member's mail ballot will have the same PIN as the e-ballot so that
any duplicate vote would be detected and invalidated before votes are
Is my vote confidential?  Will the vendor (or ACS) be able to see how I
Before tallying the votes, the vendor breaks the association between
each PIN and that member's vote.  ACS will not know for whom a member
voted, only what the balloting results are.
What happens if I do not receive my ballot package in the first place?
The procedures will be similar to what occurs now.  The member contacts
ACS for a new package and the vendor issues a replacement.
How will a vendor archive the balloting results without compromising
The vendor, as the trusted authority conducting the election, will keep
a record of the election.  N&E, with CPC concurrence, would specify what
information the vendor should retain.  By agreement, the vendor would be
able to audit the election and recreate the results, but ACS would only
be able to see the results.
Will e-balloting cause any delays in getting the election results?
The vendor tallies the election results after the election period
closes, as is done now.  The vendor would then count the mail votes and
merge them with the Internet votes (discounting double voting).  The
process would not take any longer than the current process.

What security methods do vendors use to prevent a hacker from disrupting
an election?
Vendors use multiple, industry-standard methods to "harden" their sites.
Vendors use a secure facility with controlled and monitored access, and
protect the network infrastructure with redundancy and scalability.  The
vendors use state-of-the-art firewall and intrusion detection software.
How would the vendor know that someone is a valid member of the ACS?
ACS would provide the vendor with the list of current members eligible
to vote, as is done now with the current election procedure.
What would be the long-term benefits to the Society of voting online
rather than continuing to use the mail balloting procedures?
ACS is committed to providing products and services through the
Internet.  The ACS members are enthusiastically using these new
services.  Electronic balloting is the direction that our members are
asking us to go.
Will the society save money through e-balloting?
Initially, hybrid elections using both mail and electronic balloting
would cost a little more.  If e-balloting were to become the preferred
method of voting (which is likely), the cost savings could be large
because of reduced postage and handling costs.
Will voter turnout increase through e-balloting?
Many organizations, including associations and ACS divisions, have
experienced an increase in member participation.

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