ICANN Election Committee

Call for Proposals for 
Online Voting System
(June 13, 2000)

The Election Committee has been chartered by ICANN to make recommendations on the structure and execution of ICANN's At Large Membership election.

One of ICANN's key objectives is to outsource the operation of the voting system by partnering with an experienced vendor. In addition to a modest budget for the voting system, ICANN offers the opportunity for a vendor to get extensive worldwide exposure for its system through its use in its unprecedented At Large elections.

The Election Committee has completed a technical and functional specification for the online voting system for this year's worldwide election of five At Large Directors.  The Election Committee now invites proposals from vendors of online voting systems in accordance with the specification.

If you would like to submit a proposal, please provide a proposal responding to the Basic Technical and Functional Specification for Online Voting Systems and send it to <election@icann.org>. The deadline for proposals is July 5, 2000.

The Election Committee will review all proposals, and hopes to make a recommendation to the ICANN Board in time for its 16 July meeting in Yokohama.

Basic Technical and Functional Specification for Online Voting System

    I.  Basic Operational Elements of the Online Voting System

    A.  System is web-based

    B.  System has an intuitive, easy-to-navigate interface

    C.  System supports multiple major languages

    D.  System is localized (in terms of date, time and address formats) to major areas in the world.

    E.  System can handle 25,000 voters over 10 days, with likely spikes in use at beginning and end of voting period

    II.  Accessability

    A.  System interoperates with a wide variety of client-side platforms, including:

    - Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000
    - MacOS
    - Other common operating systems (Linux, etc.)
    - Internet Explorer version 3 or higher
    - Netscape version 3 or higher

    B.  System does not require use of java/javascripts (or detects whether browser accepts Java/JavaScript and provides alternate interfaces)

    C.  System detects whether browser accepts images and provides alternate interfaces

    D.  System works for At-Large Members who use screen readers

    E.  System works for At-Large Members who access the Internet using a text-only browser

    F.  System is sensitive to low-bandwidth/slow-modem environment of some At-Large Members

    III.  Verification of Voters

    A. System verifies a voter's member number, password and PIN number

    B. System alerts ICANN of suspected efforts at fraud (including repeated guesses of passwords, excessive votes from a single PC)

    IV.  Secret But Verifiable Ballots

    System implements secret balloting, while allowing independent third-party monitors (“scrutineers”) to verify that the ballots counted are the same as the ballots cast

    V.  Support for Ballot Marking Rules

    System either:

    (i) does not allow mismarking of ballots; or
    (ii) checks validity of ballots immediately upon submission, and returns ballot to voter for resubmission if there is an error


    VI.  Data Security

    A.  System protects the security, integrity, and confidentiality of members' personal data

    B.  System protects the security, integrity, and confidentiality of ballots

    C.  Ideally, system provides no way for anyone (even vendor employees) to determine how an individual voter voted;  at a minimum, system provides reasonable safeguards to prevent such data access

    VII.  Verifiability of Software and Procedures

    A.  System and vendor make it possible to verify that the software performs according to specification

    B.  System and vendor make it possible to verify that the vendor is running the software correctly

    C.  Vendor will allow scrutineers to review:

    (i) software, before and during election; and
    (ii) procedures (how many people have access to what parts of the system, how passwords are issued, how backups are done)

    D.  System incorporates safeguards to assure that vendor employees do not cast votes for At-Large Members who do not vote

    E.  System provides mechanism for verifying that the system is operating the way it is supposed to;  this may involve mathematical procedures or cryptographic protocols that will reveal if ballots have been tampered with, audit trails, or other mechanisms suggested by the vendor

    F.  System automatically verifies the number of ballots sent in and the size and consistency of the database(s), and warns the administrator and stops the voting until the administrator manually authorizes it to continue

    VIII. Vendor Transparency and Openness

    A.  Vendor will be sufficiently transparent and open about the system's design and function so as to foster confidence among At-Large Members

    B.  Vendor will allow scrutineers to verify that the voting system is working according to the specification and proposal

    IX.  Vendor Capability

    A.  Vendor is committed to the success of the these first global online elections

    B.  Vendor provides access to 24-hour technical support during the 10-day voting period

    C.  Vendor has tested its voting systems in a production environment

    D.  Vendor will test the ICANN voting system prior to the election

    E.  Vendor has, and provides reference for, prior experience with similar systems

Comments on these criteria are welcome, and should be sent to <election@icann.org>.


Page Updated 13-June-2000
(c) 2000  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. All rights reserved.