Why Simply Voting
Easy to Administer
You maintain your elections through our Election Manager, a secured and intuitive web interface. No particular computer skills are required. You can also have us manage your elections for you.
Simply Voting was designed from the ground-up to eliminate the risk of electoral fraud or breach of secrecy:
- Voters who bypass authentication or have already voted are denied access to the ballot.
- One-vote-per-voter is guaranteed by marking electors as voted and storing the vote in a single transaction.
- Ballots are rigorously checked for validity before being accepted.
- Communication between the voter's computer and our website is encrypted with 256-bit SSL, the highest level of protection.
- Our servers are "hardened" and are subjected to daily Trust Guard PCI Compliance security scans.
- Our voting system has been subjected to live vulnerability scans by WhiteHat Security and source code security audits by HP Fortify.
- Simply Voting adheres to guidelines established by the Open Web Application Security Project.
- Any change to the voting system must pass an internal security review before going live.
- We use DomainKeys Identified Mail and the Sender Policy Framework to protect voters from phishing attacks.
- To prevent Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, Simply Voting employs a very powerful and feature rich firewall, the Astaro Security Gateway, which differentiates between good traffic and malicious traffic. We also use Anycast DNS deployment which prevents DNS-based DDoS attacks. Any large-scale DDoS attack that cannot be prevented will be mitigated within 15 minutes by DOSarrest, the specialists in stopping DDoS and DoS attacks of all varieties.
Fully Hosted & Reliable
Don't worry yourself about servers, IT staff, installing software or taking backups. Simply Voting gives you instant access to the latest technology and is ready to process millions of votes around the clock.
Simply Voting is built on an enterprise-class cloud computing service powered by high performance IBM hardware, with full redundancy across the entire infrastructure (no single points of failure). Our data centre is in a stable mountain zone, away from earthquake, hurricane, tornado, and severe weather zones. The data center contains advanced power, cooling and security infrastructure, and Cisco Data Center 3.0 network architecture. It is staffed 24x7, backed-up by an offsite network operations center. We also use several Anycast DNS clusters to ensure fault tolerance at the DNS level.
Simply Voting uses third party offsite monitoring tools to automatically monitor key “vital signs” of our voting system 24x7 and a technical staff member is immediately notified of any anomaly. We take full data backups every 15 minutes, which are encrypted and uploaded to offsite redundant storage. Simply Voting maintains a Disaster Recovery Plan as well as a Hot Site at a backup data center in a different geographical area. Should the primary data center experience an outage, we have the capability of quickly moving the entire voting system to the Hot Site, minimizing disruption to ongoing elections. You can rest assured that your election is always protected and available in the case of a disaster.
24x7x365 Rapid Support
All our customers are backed up by a team of experts committed to helping you run successful elections! If you have a question or experience a problem, our Rapid Support team is standing by to give you quick and effective assistance. In case of emergency, we have Rapid Support representatives on duty at all hours.
100% Availability Guarantee
Simply Voting endeavours to provide the most reliable infrastructure possible for our online voting system. We guarantee that all functionality is available 100% of the time in a given month, excluding special planned maintenance. We will credit your account 5% of your election fee for each 30 minutes of unavailability (up to 100%).
An important advantage of having the experts power your election is trust. With the security of an independently managed server and service, your voters can rest assured that their votes will be counted properly. We display a certified by Simply Voting seal on your published voting results. We can also provide a Letter of Certification attesting to the validity of your results. To request a Letter of Certification please contact support.
SSAE 16 Certification
Simply Voting is SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type I certified. The SSAE 16 (formerly known as SAS 70) is a widely recognized auditing standard issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). An auditor's report details a service provider's ability to offer adequate controls and safeguards when they host or process data belonging to their customers. The audit focuses heavily in the areas of compliance, security and access. It addresses important topics such as backup and recovery, computer operations, and human resources.
Our data center, RackForce, is similarly SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II certified. Both Simply Voting and RackForce are also CSAE 3416 and ISAE 3402 certified; these are the Canadian and international equivalents to the SSAE 16. These certifications are an independent validation of the quality, integrity and reliability of Simply Voting's infrastructure and services.
Branded Voting Website
Simply Voting provides you with an exclusive voting website for your elections with a url like https://myname.simplyvoting.com/. The voting website is branded with your logo & colors, is easy to use, and looks professional. You have the option of publishing voting results to your voting website.
Simply Voting provides several options for voter authentication:
- You provide passwords to Simply Voting with your list of eligible voters
- Simply Voting generates passwords (and optionally emails out direct voting links)
- Simply Voting authenticates voters against a POP3, IMAP or SMTP server
- Simply Voting authenticates voters against an LDAP directory
- Simply Voting authenticates voters against HTTP Authentication
- Simply Voting authenticates voters against a 3rd party web service
- Simply Voting authenticates voters against a Central Authentication Service (CAS)
- Simply Voting authenticates voters against a Shibboleth identity provider (please contact support to enable)
- You generate a single sign-on (SSO) link on your secure website
Flexible Ballot Questions
Simply Voting supports many types of questions to meet your needs. Here's what you can do:
- Specify ballot or question introductory text
- Attach photos & descriptions to each candidate
- Allow for a single winner or multiple winners
- Allow voting for write-in candidates
- Control the minimum and maximum number of candidates voters are allowed to select
- Control whether voters are allowed to abstain from voting
- Run preferential questions with the Single Transferable Vote (STV) / Hare-Clark / Instant Runoff Voting counting method
- Run preferential questions with the Condorcet Ranked Pairs counting method
- Add comment boxes to collect feedback from voters
If you require another type of ballot question please let us know and we can arrange for it. We also offer a time-saving feature that lets you clone ballots, which is especially handy for testing your election setup.
"Paper" Audit Trail
Once the electronic ballot has been cast a printable receipt is provided to assure voters that their votes have been recorded as intended. Should you opt to publish the final results, anyone will be able to download a file containing votes and receipt numbers. This serves as a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) - an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction, and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.
Schedule initial invitations to vote and periodic reminders to those who haven't voted yet. Our Email Blast feature gives can optionally include a direct voting link in the message so that the elector can vote immediately, bypassing authentication. The Email Blast also follows best practices such as publishing an SPF record, and signing messages with DomainKeys Identified Mail to maximize message deliverability.
Multiple Overlapping Elections
You can run several ballots independently of each other, even simultaneously. If someone is eligible to vote in multiple ballots they will be given the opportunity to vote in each one.
Segmentation of Voters
We provide a system to restrict any question on the ballot to a segment of your eligible voters. To enable segmentation for your account please contact support.
Simply Voting is committed to supporting electors with disabilities and making sure the ballot works with assistive technologies. Our voting websites adhere to W3C web standards and accessibility guidelines as well as Section 508 requirements. From time to time we also have a visually impaired person test the ballot using a screen reader.
For organizations that prefer to have physical poll stations, we provide a special version of your voting website. Load it up in a computer at the kiosk and it will logout each voter automatically after they vote, for quick and efficient turnover.
Multilingual Voting Website
We offer many translations of the voting interface so that voters may select their language of preference. If you require a language that's not listed in the Election Manager, please let us know and we can arrange for it.
Paper Voting Support
Some organizations prefer to keep the option of allowing mail-in or live voting on paper ballots. Simply Voting makes such hybrid elections possible by giving you the ability to mark electors as having voted offline and then entering their votes by proxy, ensuring that nobody can vote twice. To enable paper voting support for your account please contact support.
To compliment web voting, let your people vote securely over the phone. We will assign you your own automated local or Toll Free 800 number which will prompt electors for their credentials, read out the questions, and record the votes. Voting instructions and the wording of your ballot will be professionally recorded in a human voice. Of course, our phone election system ensures that nobody can vote twice. To enable telephone voting for your account please contact support.
We provide a system for open or closed nominations, as well as the ability to publish qualified nominees to the ballot. To enable online nominations for your account please contact support.
Weighted Vote Support
To accommodate shareholder elections or similar situations, the number of shares or vote weight may be specified for each eligible voter. Election results take the weight of each vote into account and tallies the total vote weights exercised. To enable weighted vote support for your account please contact support.
If necessary, you can remove a candidate from the ballot once voting has ended and Simply Voting will recalculate the results accordingly. To enable candidate withdrawals for your account please contact support.
We provide a system to create and manage multiple administrator users, so that your staff and external auditors can safely access voting event information. Each user has his own password to log into the Election Manager and we provide a log of which users perform which actions. You can assign different access permissions for each user, specifying the features they are allowed to use and the elections they are allowed to access. To enable multiple administrators for your account please contact support.
Simply Voting is not one-size-fits-all. We offer a wide variety of services to meet your needs:
- Fully managed voting events
- Customizations to the voting technology
- Printing and mailing voting instructions and passwords
- Printing and mailing paper ballots
- Collecting and processing paper ballots
- Professional translations of voting interface language
- Professional voice recording for telephone voting
- Live tabulation of votes via web conference or in-person
- Managing logistics and security for live voting events
If you require any of the above or even something else, please tell us about your requirements.