How The British Business Awards Online Voting System Works

This year the 2009 British Business Awards (BBA) will announce the finalists for each category on 21st September and will allow their supporters to vote for them on the BBA website. In this post we uncover some of the concerns with creating an online voting system and describe our approach to creating our own Earnst & Young audited online voting system!

The Problems With Online Voting Systems

Any online voting system cannot be 100% full proof, if the user really wants to vote mulitple times, there is no 100% bullet proof way we can stop them doing that. But, in order to make it as hard as possible to cheat we have 3 lines of defense.

The Voting Process

Defense Line 1) Stopping robots or programs spamming the voting form

The voter begins the process by choosing the category of award they want to vote in, after this they get the list of options for who they can vote for.

Below the list is an input box for their email address, a message for the user and a validation vote input field. In order to stop a someone writing a script that fills out the form multiple times as if it is a human, we added a ‘Captcha‘.

What is a Captha? A CAPTCHA is a program that can generate and grade tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot. For example, humans can read distorted text as the one shown below, but current computer programs cannot.

recaptcha-example

Defense Line 2) Stopping people voting multiple times

When the user votes, they are required to give their email address. When the system recieves the vote, it generates a special URL that is emailed to the user. The user then must click on that link in their email to process the vote. Until the user clicks on that link, the vote will not be counted.

Each vote is collected into a database, the system will only allow one vote per email address. So once the user has confirmed a vote via email, the user cannot then make another vote using the same email address.

Defense Line 3) Recording the IP address

Another form of security is that the system also records the IP address of the user. This helps us to check whether there have been multiple votes from a single IP address. This may happen under a few circumstances, firstly the same user has persistently voted multiple times by creating new email addresses from which to confirm the vote. The second senerio is that a network of computers in an office goes through the same IP address to access the internet. In this case we could guess that perhaps a whole company has voted for the same person from the same office building.

Not 100% Reliable

It is not very wise to use an online voting system where there is no other form of analysis. The reason it works here for us, is that the final analysis and decision for the winners is made by judges, who actually meet the finalists. The voting is set to be a supplementary way to show the popularity of the finalists with the public, but as there are still loop holes, it is not a full proof method for getting a fair vote.

Click here to learn more about the British Business Awards

Share this postShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get a free project quote

+86 10 6503 0620

Sign up to our newsletter!

Sign up to our regular newsletter with our latest blogs posts and news!

  • Eggplant Digital helped us focus on exactly what we wanted the website to do and how we wanted people to interact with it. Then they built a site that exceeded all our expectations. They met every deadline, even when we missed a few ourselves. These guys are the best in the region without a doubt. They will be my first call next time around and the last call.

  • Since the site went live, a year ago, we’ve seen a significant rise in enquiries for work through the website. This has been a fantastic boost for the growth of our business. Thanks to the Eggplant team!

    Andrew Clark, Group Creative Director/DP

  • Woo hoo! Looks awesome. I am very pleased to say the least. Everyone at Eggplant, great job and thanks for the hard work.

    John Romankiewicz

  • Eggplant have been fantastic – not only do we have a great website for a reasonable price, but their technology and marketing tools for our company have exceeded my expectations.

    Mark Varley CEO

  • From their input on the initial design to their meticulous care in continuing to tweak the websites until they were exactly what we needed, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the job they did. Both their design work and back-end programming have had a profound impact on our work in China.

    Gabriel Suk - Founder

  • The site looks great and will be the envy of our industry. Thanks for being so patient with us. We can proudly say we have created the best website for a film company in China.

    David Tom

  • From the concept phase through to deployment I have been very impressed by the quality of the service delivered by Eggplant and the end result speaks for itself.Their patience in dealing with my constant queries and changes was also admirable!

    Colin Saunders - Sales and Business Development Manager

  • Thank you for all your help in creating our website, we had a great experience and we are really happy with the end result! In just a few weeks since we went live, we have already had a lot of praise from our customers about the new website! 

    Alex Wolfgram