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openSUSE:Election software

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Election software

The openSUSE elections are run using Helios Voting.

Helios Voting

Helios Voting is an online open-source voting system written by Ben Adida. A paper describing the voting process can be found here. The source code and installation instruction are found on the project's GitHub page.

Creating the board election

The "Create a New Election" form should mostly be obvious. The important things to enable are:

  • "Use voter aliases" (Without this, everybody can check who voted and who didn't. The election creator can always see who voted.)
  • "Randomize answer order"

Next step is to add a question. at the top, change the dropdowns to "Select between __0__ and __3__ answers", then fill in the question ("Please vote for up to 3 board candidates") and the answers (= names).

Go "back to election", then to "voters & ballots", "Bulk upload voters" and upload the CSV file. (Helios displays the exptected format) and use the username as "realname" (not nice, but better than nothing). The CSV gets processed by a background process, so reload the page after some seconds.

Go "back to election" again.

The next step is "freeze ballot and open election", click "Freeze the ballot" there.

Now go to "voters & ballots" again. There's a new button "email voters", click it.

The "Time to Vote" template should be fine. Fill in the fields below, keep "Send to: all voters" and finally click "Send". (BTW: there's also the option to mail only "voters who have not yet cast a ballot" - you can use this for sending a reminder in the middle of the election if you think it's needed.)

The election is running now. Relax until the ballots close

After the election is finished, login in Helios again. The next steps are: - "compute encrypted tally", reload the page after a while - "trustees (for decryption)" - just visiting that page is enough, then

 go back

- "compute results" - "release result" (makes the result public). I'd recommend to let

 Helios send emails to voters - the mail includes a link to the result 
 and (possibly more important) the smart tracker code (people hopefully 
 recorded it when voting and can check it now). People who didn't vote 
 will instead see a note that they didn't vote.