University of São Paulo: Electronic voting system is integrated into USP’s corporate systems

USP is optimizing the system used for institutional voting carried out in Central Bodies and Teaching and Research Units. From now on, Helios Voting, one of the most advanced technologies for online verifiable elections available on the market, will be integrated into USP’s corporate systems, which will facilitate user access without the need for a new password to be generated at the time of voting. This will ensure more agility and transparency to the process, since the voter will be able to use their own USP password to participate in the election.

Previously, at each election, the system sent an automatic message to the e-mail account registered in USP’s corporate database, containing the electronic address, login and password for voting. “This was one of the limitations of the system, which caused difficulties, especially for new users”, explains the superintendent of Information Technology (STI) at USP, João Eduardo Ferreira.

Another novelty of Helios Voting, already incorporated in the election for the composition of the list of dean and vice dean held on November 25th, was the creation of a dashboard [visual panel] that allows the monitoring of the election, in real time , with verification of accesses and attempts to access the environment and full monitoring of banknotes deposited and e-mails sent.

In a next step, Ferreira anticipates that it is also planned to create a double login, similar to those used by banks, so that the user can access the system.

At the University, Helios Voting has been used since 2017. More than 6,800 elections, with 346,000 votes counted, have already been carried out in the system, including elections for dean, for the Superior Council and Board of Directors of the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Fapesp), Departmental, Collegiate and Coordination Councils. “We never identified any security problem in these elections,” Ferreira says.

The superintendent explains that Helios Voting is based on five pillars: security, privacy (nobody knows who they voted for, except the voters themselves); traceability (each voter has a traceable number of their vote); and attestation (an open source system, evaluated by qualified experts, and used by large organizations).

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