In 2015, POLYAS, in cooperation with Micromata GmbH and the Technical University (TU) in Darmstadt, Germany, founded the FlexiVote research project. The idea was to create a digital construction kit, which could be used to help build democratic elections. The end of 2016 saw it completed – today we are taking a look at the implications of FlexiVote.
FlexiVote: A New Voting System
Online Voting brings significant advantages. Election managers can plan long-term savings into their budgets and simplify the election process enormously. Voters no longer must sacrifice so much of their time to register and vote in person or via complicated postal methods. As a result of the research project FlexiVote, POLYAS is now aiming to make online elections even more adaptable to individual needs.
In nine process steps, ten digital elections modules were identified which have distinct characteristics. These modules can be used alone or combined with one another to create a highly adaptable election system. The project and the algorithms that have been developed enable different modules to be stacked on top of one another. Indeed, this construction kit concept was the core idea behind developing FlexiVote. The team was led by Dr. Tomasz Truderung – the head of research at POLYAS and Prof. Dr. Melanie Volkamer from the TU Darmstadt.
Contributions to the FlexiVote Research Project:
On the basis of FlexiVote, our research team has released a number of academic papers which have subsequently been presented at international conferences and published in renowned academic journals. The project has also emerged as the focus for two dissertations, one of which has already been published.
Additionally, the scientific results of this research will be incorporated into teaching. Indeed, Prof. Dr. Melanie Volkamer has been presenting, amongst other areas of research, the latest in applied digital security concepts. Ultimately, FlexiVote has a long-term sustainable future ahead of it, based on high-level academic research.
Federal State Support for the Research Project
The Federal State of Hesse, Germany, was convinced that an investment in POLYAS & TU Darmstadt’s research would be worth it. Accordingly, they have supported the development of FlexiVote from its inception under the LOEWE research development program. This program supports the Regional government of Hesse in developing joint projects between state government and leading academic institutions. It focuses on building tight-knit connections between academics, government, and businesses with the intention of pushing long-term and sustainable growth into the regional economy.
The result of the project will influence online voting systems worldwide. The FlexiVote research project will ultimately be used as the core concept of the new POLYAS NG voting system. NG, already under construction, will be founded on the latest cryptographic modules and be highly customizable to ensure the highest security in tandem with the smoothest experience for election managers and voters alike.