Voting Security Options

1

 Level 1 - Standard Features

Overview

Our standard voting security settings include capturing the IP address for every vote that is cast which can trigger additional security features to be activated dependent upon the number of votes cast by that IP address.

Components/Examples

  1. IP Address Capture: As mentioned, an IP address is captured for every vote cast.
  2. After an IP address is captured 3x the allowed vote limit: Subsequent voters from that IP address will see a CAPTCHA box appear on the vote form.
    1. Example: if the vote limit is set to 1 vote per day per entry, and the system captures the same IP address voting for the same entry more than 3 times in 1 day, the CAPTCHA will start appearing for anyone voting from that IP address.
  3. After an IP address is captured 5x the allowed vote limit: Subsequent voters from that IP address will be asked to Login to Vote (either through Facebook or by creating a voter account with an email address & password).
    1. Example: if the vote limit is set to 1 vote per day per entry, and the system captures the same IP address voting for the same entry more than 5 times in 1 day, the Login-to-Vote will start appearing for anyone voting from that IP address.

FAQ: Why not just stop the IP address from voting more than once?

ANSWER: While it may seem that simple, the same IP address does not necessarily mean it’s the same person doing the voting.  Computers in offices/schools/homes with more than one computer are most likely using the same router/modem to access the internet, which means all computers/users are accessing the site through the same IP address.  If we limited the voting to one vote per IP address per day it could prevent many people from voting.

Vetting Votes

With our standard features you would be relying on IP address checking to verify votes so really, the only way you could maybe spot fraudulent votes is if someone had an incredibly high number of votes from one IP address and you cross-referenced the location of that IP address.

2

 Level 2 - Vote Form Info Capture

Overview

In addition to our standard vote security features, we can incorporate a field capture on the voter form.  In this scenario you could collect data on the voters to later scrub for fraudulent votes.

Components/Examples

You can have users enter an email address, name, phone number, etc. for every vote they cast, and then once the voting period ends, you can pull a voter report with a list of the email addresses and run calculations (in Excel) to scrub for duplicate or fraudulent votes

What this doesn’t capture

Our vote forms cannot verify that email addresses are valid and actually exist, nor does it check to make sure that someone isn’t just coming back and adding in a 1, 2, 3, etc. to their email and voting again.

Why this is helpful: While it isn’t perfect, and can’t do the things mentioned above, it does give you much more information about the voter, and in combination with the level 1 basic settings, gives you a good base of information to scrub for fraudulent votes.

3

 Level 3 - Login-To-Vote

Overview

The Login-to-Vote feature mentioned in the level 1 standard settings can be activated for every vote (not just when it’s triggered by the IP address).

Pros/Cons:

The biggest pro for turning on login-to-vote is that this is the only way for the system to verify a user’s email address.  Voters click on the vote button and are asked to log in either via Facebook or by creating a Voter (WizeHive) account.  If they create an account, it just asks them for their name and email address.  Then, they are sent and email and must log in and click a link to verify their email address is valid before their vote is counted.  This is an excellent way to cut down the amount of fraudulent votes as most people are unwilling to go to all the trouble of creating a bunch of new email addresses and verifying them all just to be able to cast additional votes. They would only need to verify their email address once, but may be asked to log in each time they vote using their voter username and password.

The only potential downside to this is sometimes customers see a slight drop in voter participation when users are asked to login each day to vote.

However, if you are already capturing email addresses or using any features of Level 2, they are already being asked to enter information each time they vote.  It is also unclear whether there is actually a drop in voter participation, or if the decrease in vote counts is due to a significant drop in the number of fraudulent votes that are typically cast.

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