Monday, March 7, 2011

UBC continuous #votermedia award calculations suspended pending login system upgrade

We're finding that the non-automated voter registration system is too cumbersome, resulting in low participation rates. This is especially a problem for the UBC AMS funded ballot, because it tends to give award calculation results that do not fairly reflect an AMS community consensus. So we're putting the UBC AMS continuous votermedia award calculations on hold until we finish automating our registration and login system.

A better login system has long been needed and often requested for continuous votermedia. For the past few months we have been giving priority to building an automated system, including giving users the option of logging in via Facebook. It's taking longer than expected, but we're getting close.

In spite of the weaknesses of the no-login system we've been using for the past year or so, we have managed to produce reasonably meaningful award allocations so far. But 2 weeks ago I noticed an apparent hacking attempt from Europe, so I discussed with my AMS liaison (the Student Activities Committee Vice-Chair) that we probably need to implement a manual voter registration system temporarily, so as to keep the award results meaningful. We phased that in the following week, but it turns out to be too cumbersome to attract enough voters so far, so it can't produce meaningful results either. Hence the decision to suspend until the automatic system is implemented.

Meanwhile, the three UBC undergrad societies (Arts, Engineering and Science) are sponsoring a $1500 votermedia contest on their election ballot using UBC's Webvote platform, which uses the Campus-Wide Login (CWL) system. So it is secure enough to work well, and I'm working with them to make the contest successful. See more info in this earlier post.

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