Karthik Datt, Banglore, India
The objective of voting is to allow voters to exercise their right to express their choices regarding specific issues, pieces of legislation, citizen initiatives, constitutional amendments, recalls and/or to choose their government and political representatives. Technology is being used more and more as a tool to assist voters to cast their votes. To allow the exercise of this right, almost all voting systems around the world include the following steps:
· voter identification and authentication
· voting and recording of votes cast
· vote counting
· publication of election results
Voter identification is required during two phases of the electoral process: first for voter registration in order to establish the right to vote and afterwards, at voting time, to allow a citizen to exercise their right to vote by verifying if the person satisfies all the requirements needed to vote (authentication).
Ancient archeological artifacts and historical items have been discovered to still retain a large number of fingerprints on them. Since this was a discovered significant stride in fingerprinting and identification have been made. In 1788 a detailed description of anatomical formations of fingerprints was made. Then in1823 fingerprints began to be classified into nine categories, (Handbook) and by the 19th century Sir Francis Galton had developed analytical methods for fingerprint matching. As the criminal justice system evolved, there arose the need for criminals to be uniquely identified by some physically identifiable trait. Richard Edward Henry of Scotland Yard began using fingerprinting in 1901 and its success eventually lead to its increased use in the law enforcement field
The field of biometrics was formed and has since expanded on to many types of physical identification. Still, the human fingerprint remains a very common identifier and the biometric method of choice among law enforcement. These concepts of human identification have lead to the development of fingerprint scanners that serve to quickly identify individuals and assign access privileges. The basic point of these devices is also to examine the fingerprint data of an individual and compare it to a database of other fingerprints.
Nearly everyone in the world is born with a fingerprint that is unique; a separate and comprehensively identifying attribute that sets us apart from the other 6.5 billon people that inhabit this world. It is because of this fact that the fingerprint has proven such a useful part of biometric security. The very reason that fingerprint scanners are useful can be found in this fact as well. However, this is far from the only reason they are used.
Another important reason fingerprint scanners are used is, they provide a quick, easy, efficient, and secure measure through which, an individual with the proper access privileges can authenticate. The fingerprint of an employee for example, is stored in a database that the scanner queries every time it is used. There are two basic Boolean conditions the scanner then goes through when an individual’s print is scanned. First, the print is usually searched for in a database of fingerprints, once it is found it then looks at the print to see what access privileges are associated with the print and compares them to the access they are trying to gain. If everything checks out the subject is allowed access and they are not otherwise. In any case, a log of the event is usually stored for security purposes the size of these devices is another reason they have become so mainstream recently. Fingerprint scanners can be deployed directly near a door for access or as a peripheral to a computer for logging in. Modern day scanners have even been embedded on computer keyboards, mice, and USB devices because engineers have been able to reduce their size. Fingerprint scanners are also very versatile in the function that they can serve. The most common use may be for access restriction; however, they have served as time clocks, personal data retrievers, and even to cut down on truancy in some schools. Since they have experienced so much success in these areas, businesses are expanding upon their use and they are getting more public exposure
Finger printing recognition, the electronic methods of recording and recognizing an individual finger print, advanced substantially during the last decade of the 21th century. Today, identification can be achieved in a few seconds with reasonable accuracy. As a result, the use of automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) that record, store, search, match and identify finger prints is rapidly expanding. AFIS can be integrated with a microcontroller and other peripherals to form an embedded system which is a comprehensive electronic voting machine with fingerprint print identification system.