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Paperless Voting

Paperless Voting FAQ

What is Paperless Voting?

Simply put, paperless voting is when you receive an email that provides you the credentials you need to access our online voting website to case your vote in a Stargate Election.

How is it different?

Historically, the Stargate Election Committee has mailed or delivered an envelope with Ballot Instructions for each election to each stakeholder (voter).  Those ballot instructions were brightly-colored and delivered in Monday folders or by mail.  Each envelop contained unique login credentials to our online voting website (stargate.simplyvoting.com) where you could login and cast your vote.

If everything was working fine, why change?

The reasons for considering paperless are two-fold.  First, the cost of paper instructions continues to rise as we continue to grow. Also, we do commit significant time in printing, counting, stuffing, and organizing the ballots.  Second, the paper-approach has resulted in an average turnout that is 20-25%, and we would like to see a stronger participating of our stakeholders in voting.

Is paperless voting secure?

There are two security aspects to paper-less voting.  The first aspect is evaluating the online voting utility itself (SimplyVoting.com) and the second aspect is delivery of the email with the credentials.

Stargate has used SimplyVoting.com for several years. Not only does it pass 3rd party certifications for security, but our own Stargate volunteers (some who are professions is computer security) also are comfortable with the security controls it offers.

Regarding delivery of the credentials via email, there are risks with having your credentials stolen with either paper or paper-less ballots.  With our paper-ballots, the username and password are explicitly listed in the ballot instructions.  The instructions are clear and anybody who can read can login and vote once they are in possession of the paper instructions.

For paperless ballots, the voter credentials are not as obvious and are provided to the stakeholder as a stakeholder-unique link to SimplyVoting.com, compared to an explicit description of a username and password.  However, anybody who has access to the email of the stakeholder can vote (same basic weakness as paper-based ballot instructions).

Can voting be audited?  What happens if I suspect that somebody voted for me?

Regardless of whether the stakeholder votes from paper instructions or from an email link, the audit and log files of SimplyVoting.com record when the vote was made and the source IP address, giving us a method of determining where and when a vote was cast (but not how they voted) in the event of a question of the source of the vote.

What do I need to do to participate in paperless voting?

Each stakeholder needs to ensure they have valid, current, and unique email address as part of your Infinite Campus profileInfinite Campus is the source of record for our parent stakeholders who can vote.  We cannot send an email to an address that is incorrect, obsolete, or shared.  For faculty and staff stakeholders, the paperless-ballot/email will be send to your work email address.

Please ensure your email in Infinite Campus is good 30 days prior to the election (that is when we will pull the list).

Can I receive an email AND paper-based ballot instructions?

For the Spring 2018 election, the election committee will send out BOTH forms of credentials (paper ballot instructions plus emails).  You can vote using either method, but once you vote you cannot change your vote.

Presuming we have a successful Spring 2018 election and we find no issues with paperless voting, we will stop sending paper-based ballot instructions and use paperless voting exclusively starting with the Fall election of 2018.

I might have further questions… who do I contact?

No problem! If you have further questions, please send an email to:  electioncommittee@stargateschool.org