Presidential elections will encode

Presidential elections will encode

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The CEC is exploring the possibility of introducing the QR-code, which will eliminate the substitution of ballots

Photo: NEWS/Paul Poor

The CEC is exploring the possibility to minimize the so-called human factor when the details of final reports in gas “Elections” the presidential elections of 2018. This, according to “Izvestia”, is the use of the QR-code, which will transform the results of the final data from each plot.

The idea to introduce the QR code originated from one of the regional electoral commissions, for the first time a new technology tested in St. Petersburg when voting on the election of deputies of the state Duma in September. This “Izvestia” said a CEC member Anton Lopatin. To implement this approach throughout a snap — in 2017 the program will start selectively, in 2018, the promise to enter all polling stations.

The head of the Federal centre of Informatization (FCI) with the CEC of the Russian Federation Mikhail Popov explained that FCI is willing to implement a program. After completing the Protocol in electronic form, using it for printing will be displayed QR code, which “sews” the data from the record. The first test version of the program tested.

Thus, the system administrator will not be hands to drive the final figures of the Protocol, which can be up to six (while holding the regional, municipal and Federal elections. — “News”) from each plot, and it is up to 50 thousand numbers, simply scan the QR code of the Protocol, — said Mikhail Popov.

After the program recognize the numbers, they appear on the screen of the system for the correctness of these data is verified with the primary source, and if they coincide, they in real time sent to the gas “Vybory”.

— If to speak about the technical side of the issue, with the help of gas “Vybory” to prepare the template for all polling stations and to install it on my local computers, — explained Anton Lopatin.

Now system administrators working in the elections in the territorial commissions, enter data of final reports in gas “Vybory” by hand.

Is a huge array of information, with such a load it is impossible to exclude technical error, — explained Anton Lopatin.

However, not only technical, but human factor is often the reason for complaints about the election results. Using a QR code, according to a member of the CEC, will eliminate fraud when sending protocols of the precinct election Commission in the territorial.

The CEC noted that the main advantage of a QR code — is easy recognition of any smartphone is the large amount of information, including text and figures.

Anton Lopatin stressed that with the help of a special program the QR code to read on a smartphone (or other device), and a member of the electoral Commission, and the observer. This will provide easy access to final protocols by election observers.

— If there is a QR code, it can be said, an additional guarantee that the system administrators will not mix or will not go wrong. On voting day, the load is enormous, and the human factor still has been and will be, — said Anton Lopatin. — Error in such a situation always lead to scandals.

Interviewed by “Izvestia” experts believe the idea is relevant not only for Russia but also for the whole world electoral practices.

— Legitimation of the results are important, it increases the level of confidence in electoral procedures, says the head of the Political expert group Konstantin Kalachev. In this case it is important not only for internal but also for external consumption, because not everyone in the world believe in the legitimacy of the elections in Russia. That is, to questions about the purity and honesty of procedure had arisen, and beyond, this is quite a reasonable measure.

Measures to combat fraud should not be one of necessary measures, — says the President of Fund “the Petersburg policy” Michael Vinogradov. — The experience of past elections in the state Duma shows that there are issues in terms of making results in gas “Vybory”, here we still introduce the protocols or the monitoring timing. There are additional steps associated with the availability of the surveillance data. Moreover, it is clear that in many respects the results of the presidential elections will depend not only on system but also on how bright and competitive will be candidates.

Vinogradov explained that the use of technological protection measures to falsify the results will be more difficult, but remember that any system will eventually learn how to get around.

— Non-obvious choice of technology, — says the Creator of the Agency Arb Digital Vladislav Arbatov. If it is assumed that the voting data at the polling station will still manually hide in a file (to convert to QR), it is unclear why you can’t just send the file (table, CSV) for automatic inclusion in SAS “Vybory”. We can assume that the file tables may not open on some mobile devices, but it is not all smartphones are able to work with tables. Besides, by default, the ability to read QR codes is only in Android, in iOS it is not, that is, the owners of a certain brand of smartphones from among the members of the commissions and observers in any case you will have to install new software.