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Drastic & Dramatic (Part 3) – Tech talk continues…

doiwl 21 September 2007 4:42 pm

Haha, if it is hard to understand, never mind. My tech-talk continues…

This is the design of yesterday e-voting system.


OK… if this is the only thing I can retrieve from the database, can you enlighten me how you show the source of this figure?

In the lousy voting system, the database only holding the latest sum of votes for each candidate, nothing can be done to trace the authenticity of this figure. There is no way to prove the summation is right and not being tampered.

The programmer should really design a better system that allows certain degree of audit. More trails in the database means the system is more error-prone, as follows:


  • “Student ID of voter” column should be unique, to ensure that a student only vote for once (no double voting).
  • Why is it being MD5 hashed? This is to protect privacy of the voter.
  • The rationale of timestamp, computer ID and other columns are to make it more like traditional paper balloting. 
  • When more trails are left behind, at least we can trace back how many people voted in a particular timeframe, or how many people cast the vote on a particular computer, to judge whether the figure is realistic or not.
  • No one can change the result or insert any data easily unless he is able to fake so many timestamps without clashing on the same time on same computer.
  • Recount & audit is possible.

Aisk, MMU can do it in a professional way and not a joke like yesterday! The staffs did not pay attention on all these things, is it because of the tak apa attitude? Or the decision to use such simple system is made deliberately, avoiding the possibility of audit? No matter how this incident somehow affects the reputation of MMU, when no one pay attention to design a better computer system.

3 Responses to “Drastic & Dramatic (Part 3) – Tech talk continues…”

  1. wind_fengon 26 Sep 2007 at 12:55 pm

    can use php-mysql?
    it can record down any data u need.

  2. doiwlon 29 Sep 2007 at 2:38 am

    ya, of course. any frontend / backend database is possible, even Microsoft Access can do it well.

    The matter is that the programmer should design the system to record down the relevant data.

  3. wind_fengon 04 Oct 2007 at 3:40 am

    will try if I free.

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