The elections that are
made by using traditional methods are no longer preferred because of the
long period of preparation, fake voting, faulty voting, mistakes made
in counting the votes, long period of counting and high cost of voting
process. In order to avoid these disadvantages affecting directly the
economy and policy of the country, it is obligatory to carry the
available voting system to an electronic system. Reacting to allegations
of widespread voter impersonation (or “election rigging”, as commonly
referred to in Nigeria) the Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) attempted to conduct audits in several constituencies to
determine the extent of multiple voting and voter impersonation. This
should have been possible by comparing the fingerprints in the voters’
rolls with the fingerprints captured by polling officials. The audit
results were inconclusive - while there was some evidence of multiple
voting, the matter remained largely unresolved. The main obstacle for an
effective audit was the poor quality of voter verification carried out
by polling officials and the poor quality of ink for fingerprints.
Previously, voting for general and local
elections is done by electors with voting papers and voting boxes in
which the voting papers are placed. This method reveals some kinds of
negative situations. Not been able to determine which party the stamp
belongs to, the probability of placing the voting papers in wrong box,
problems with counting the votes, loss of time when there happens to be
some objections, paper printing and expenditures done for personel are
some of the disadvatages of classical election system. The secret ballot
is a fundamental instrument for protecting the freedom of choice of
voters. For this reason, it is necessary to use new technologies for
making the election system more trustable, economic and faster.
Electronic election system is set into
use in some countries, especially in USA and Europe, at the beginning of
nineties as a result of innovating technology and it became more
trustable by improving itself at the present day. Electronic voting is
an activity of realising the voting in electronic environment.
Electronic election is a system which enables fast counting by
Electronic voting is used in some
countries in the world and there are also studies about it (Babu and
Padmavathamma, 2006; El-qawasmeh and Owais, 2010;
Folorunso et al., 2005; Hajjar et al.,
2006). Electronic voting is used for parliamentary elections in
Australia in 2001 (Schoen and Faas, 2005), for student union elections
in Austria in 2003 (Prosser et al., 2003), for municipal elections in
Canada in 2003 (Nakhaie, 2006), for both general and local elections in
India in 2003 (Gorla, 2009). As a result of developments on information
technologies in recent years, public opinion polls and nation-wide
general elections will be realized faster and more effectively on
Nowadays, security problems are
experienced with the fast developing technology. Besides developing the
system, there are also so many studies and new methods for solving the
security problems of the developing system. As a result of developing
technology, individual password is started to be used to meet the
security requirements. In time, new methods are developed and card
technologies are used due to closing the security holes about burglary
of the cards or forgetting the individual passwords. Usage of the ID
cards and Private Identification Numbers (PIN) become widespread at card
technologies (Sonkamble et al., 2010; Alkan and Bulut, 2010).
Researches on security and identification operations according to
physical characteristics are realized due to limitations of this
technology in time.
Biometric systems are the methods which
make identification of people according to their physical
characteristics. Biometric methods consist of fingerprint, face, hand
shape, retina, iris, and voice track methods (Sonkamble et al., 2010;
Kadry and Smaili, 2010; Razzak et al., 2010). These methods may be used
alone or together in the developed systems.
Fingerprint recognition method and ID
system in biometric methods are frequently preferred because
applications of them are easy and low-cost (Maltoni et al., 2009).
Fingerprint recognition system is the leading method because everyone
has different fingerprints, can not be changed easily and probability of
loosing, forgeting and stealing of it is impossible. Besides, every
finger has distinctive characteristics because fingerprints of every
finger of a person are different (Altun et al., 2008).
For this reason, fingerprint method is
used mostly alone or together with other biometric methods for providing
security of the systems. Fingerprint method is also used for
identification of the internet applications.
In this study, biometric authentication
system is aimed instead of traditional election systems. By developing
the deficiencies of the present system, biometric based election system
has been developed.
1.1 Background of the Study
Voting theory formally began in the 18th
century and ever since, many proposal has been made towards using
electronic technologies to improve elections (Sobia, Ummer, Ayesha,
Usman, and Hassan, 2011). One of the essential features of democracy is
Election, democracy encourages individual’s freedom with respect to the
rule of law, so that individuals can express their opinion the way they
wish, giving individuals the opportunity to decide their leaders, and
uninhibitedly express their feelings on issues. Because of the
All-inclusive Affirmation of Human Rights in the year 1948 that puts
import on compelling circumstance of free elections, countries focused
on an improved and new voting process that are of significance to the
election processes in the 21st century (Salomonsen, 2005).
Election is the process that enables
individuals to choose their delegates and express their fellings on the
way they will be administered (Kohno, Rubin, Stubblefield & Wallach,
2003), (Malkawi, Khasawneh & Al-Jarrah, 2009) and (Ashok &
Nigerian election process has been done
manually (voting for local and general elections done by electors with
ballot papers and ballot boxes in which the papers are placed) since
returned to democratic rule in the year 1999, the manual voting process
was associated with a lot of problems and always resulted to
post-election violence (Yekini, Oyeyinka, Oludipe & Lawal, 2012).
In the Federal republic of Nigeria,
voting system is of two main categories, Manual Voting System (MVS) and
Electronic Voting System (EVS).
The Manual Voting System (MVS) involves
presenting eligible citizen with a list of contestants on a paper called
ballot paper, to mark against their favorite contestants and place the
ballot paper in a box called ballot box, this system of voting is used
for senatorial and governorship election processes in the country.
Manual voting system has some disadvantages, which include possibility
of placing the ballot paper in the wrong ballot box, votes counting
problem, loss of time when there happens to be some objections, paper
printing and expenditures done for personnel, for these reasons, it is
necessary to use the new technologies to make the election system
faster, economic and trustable because the trust that every vote will be
tallied and recorded correctly is the foundation of a genuine democracy
(Ademand & Metin, 2011).
The Electronic Voting System (EVS)
involves presenting eligible citizen with a list of contestants on a
computer, to select against their favorite contestants, this system of
voting is used for presidential election in the country. The improvement
of information and communications technologies has allow for a
completely computerised election process whereby counting of vote are
carried out in real time, that the results are automatically out by the
end of elections day (Rubin, 2002).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
With advances in information and
communication technology, issue of security has gone far beyond ordinary
password usage. This project sought to describe the biometric
authentication system, as an improved solution to the existing voting
system of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The existing system is
however subjected to possible loss of card, failure to card
verification, and unguaranteed voter’s presence at the point and time of
election. Furthermore, the EVS existing system is used for the
presidential election, while manual voting system of ballot paper and
ballot box is used for senatorial and governorship elections.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
This project aimed at the development of
a windows application for the design and implementation of a biometrics
authentication system for voters and voting process, with an embedded
fingerprint, for user’s authentication to the system.
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To study the existing voting method use for election in the country
for senatorial and governorship candidates in elections process.
- To design a robust and secured system of voting using fingerprint biometric authentication recognition process.
- To implement biometrics system form voters and voting process in the country for senatorial election.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of this project are to
improve confidentiality, integrity and voter’s identification in voting
process, to reduce the time and stress of conducting manual election
(senatorial and governorship), and to provide equal level of security at
the election ground.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This project is purposely designed for
the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) election in the
Federal Republic of Nigeria to overcome the problem of illegal
activities during election, by making sure only eligible voters have
access to the system, immediately outputting the results of the
election, and ensuring that voters have trust in the process of
election. However, this system can be extended to other electoral system
with little or no modifications.
1.6 Limitations of the Study
Despite all the significance of this
project, it is also subjected to some limitations, which includes the
fact that it’s a desktop application, it cannot be used by the citizens
at their convenience but has to come to the pull for the election, and
only a fingerprint reader from Digital persona Inc. can be used for the
enrollment and verification of user to the system.
1.7 Definition of Term
EVS – On line electronic voting system
E-voting - Electronic Voting
INEC - Independent National Electoral Commission
EVR - Electronic Voter Register
PU - Polling Unit
ICT- Information and communication Technology
ECIL- Federal Election Commission
ES & S - Election systems & software
VVPAT- vote verifiable paper audit trails
PEB- Personal Electronic Ballot
PIN- Personal Identity Number
MBB- Mobile Ballot Box
JBC- judges Booth Controller