Glossary

Online voting explained in every part

Active voters

Active voters are those who actively participate in elections and the democratic process in general. This includes not only the right to vote, but also interest and engagement in informing themselves about candidates, discussing and debating ideas, and mobilizing and raising awareness of other voters.

Active voters are thus essential to the functioning of democracy, as they help ensure balanced and representative participation and maintain democratic control over public institutions and policies.

Active voting rights

Active voting right refers to the ability to actively participate in choosing political representatives and public policies through the voting process.

Administration Code

The Administration Code, or Local Government Code, is a set of legal rules governing the organization, operation and activities of local government.

The Administration Code sets out the rules and principles governing the activities of local public agencies: the management of public affairs, land use planning, the management of local public services, the protection of the environment and cultural heritage, the management of public finances, and citizen participation in public life.

The Administration Code is an important tool for ensuring transparency, efficiency and accountability in local government, and for ensuring the fair and sustainable management of public resources for the benefit of the local community.

Agenda

Working document of a collegial body, within which all items scheduled by the assembly are listed.

Annual Meeting

Periodic meeting of the members of an organization, usually an Association, held once a year to discuss and deliberate on matters of interest to the organization.

The Annual Meeting is a time for members to actively participate in the life of the organization, view budgets, activities carried out and proposals for the future.

During the Annual Meeting, members have the right to elect the Board of Directors, approve the budget and define future strategies. In addition, it is an opportunity for members to meet, discuss and debate, strengthening the sense of belonging and cohesion within the organization.

Assembly

Body of the corporation of a collegial type, with functions of forming the will of the entity through deliberations designed to direct and preside over the management activities entrusted to the directors. The legal regulation of the assembly differs according to the various types of companies.

In the sphere of corporations, the shareholders’ meeting is the place where the will is formed and crucial choices are made, including approval of the budget, extraordinary transactions, and dissolution of the company. It is the collegial body in which, according to the majority criterion, the corporate will is formed. The other bodies, namely the director and the board of auditors, are subordinate to the shareholders’ meeting.

With reference to Joint Stock Companies, Articles 2363 et seq. of the Civil Code assign the Joint Stock Company Assembly as the representative body of the shareholders and regulate its operation.

With reference to Limited Liability Companies, Articles 2479-bis et seq. and following regulate the functions, convocation and operation.

With reference to Associations, Articles 20 et seq. of the Civil Code regulate the mode of operation by indicating that “The assembly of associations must be convened by the directors once a year to approve the budget. The meeting must also be convened when the need arises or when a reasoned request is made by at least one-tenth of the members.”

Association

An organization founded by a group of people who voluntarily join together to achieve a common purpose, which is non-profit and pursues social, cultural, sports, recreational, solidarity or rights protection purposes.

The Association may consist of a variable number of people, with different organizational forms and structures depending on the purposes pursued and the regulations in force in the country in which it is registered.

Absentee voting

Voting mode that consists of receiving the ballot at one’s residence.

Abstentionism

Abstentionism is a term for the attitude of those who decide not to participate in an election or vote, despite having the right to do so. In other words, abstentionism refers to choosing not to exercise one’s right to vote, for personal or political reasons, and can be considered a form of protest or a lack of interest in the political system.

Authentication

Process by which a computer system verifies the identity of a user requesting access to a protected resource, such as an application, Web site, or file.

Authentication can be based on several factors: knowledge of a password, possession of a physical device (such as a smart card or token), scanning a fingerprint or face, or using a security key.

Once the user’s identity has been verified, the computer system grants access to the protected resource, restricting functionality or data based on the permissions the user has.

Ballot

Electoral procedure in which candidates who received the most votes during the first round of elections (the “first round”) but not an absolute majority, must face each other in a second round of voting (the “second round”) to determine the eventual winner. The runoff is used to determine that the elected candidate has an absolute majority of votes, thus ensuring greater legitimacy and representativeness of the election result.

Ballot box

The ballot box is a container in which voters deposit their ballots while voting. While voting, voters go to the polling place, where they are identified and receive their ballots. After examining the ballots and choosing their preferred candidate or proposition, voters go to the ballot box, where they deposit their ballots, which are later counted to determine the results of the vote.

The ballot box is a key element of the election process, as it ensures the secrecy of voting and the proper storage of ballots. In fact, the ballot box is sealed before voting begins and is opened only when the counting of ballots takes place.

In Italy, the ballot box is required by law during general, regional, local and European elections, as well as during referenda. Violating the integrity of the ballot box or falsifying ballots is considered a crime and can be punished with criminal penalties.

Blockchain

The blockchain (literally “blockchain”) is a shared and “immutable” data structure. It is defined as a digital ledger whose entries are grouped into “blocks,” concatenated in chronological order, and whose integrity is guaranteed by the use of cryptography.

Budget

An accounting document that represents an estimate of projected income and expenses for a given period of time, usually a fiscal year. The budget is prepared in advance of the start of the reporting period and is intended to plan the financial activities of the entity preparing it, such as a corporation, business, nonprofit organization, or government.

The budget is divided into two main parts: the revenue part and the expenditure part. The revenue part provides for the funding sources of the institution: tax revenues, donations, or external funding. The expenditure part, on the other hand, provides for the expense items of the institution: personnel costs, rent, purchase of goods and services, or investments.

Budget approval

It is the process by which the governing body of an organization, such as a business, association, or corporation, approves the organization’s budget.

The balance sheet represents the accounting document that summarizes the financial activity of the organization over a given period of time, usually a year. The financial statements include the income statement, which describes the organization’s revenues and expenses, and the balance sheet, which describes the performance of the organization’s assets during that period.

Budget approval allows the financial performance of the organization to be monitored in order to make decisions about its management. Budget approval usually occurs at the end of the accounting year, after the budget has been prepared and audited by an auditor or accountant.

Blank card

Ballot on which the voter deliberately decides not to indicate any preference.

Board of directors

The board of directors (BoD) is the governing and controlling body of an organization:

  • Is composed of members who are appointed by the members’ meeting.
  • Defines and guides business strategies.
  • Appoints and supervises the work of the chief executive officer and managers.
  • Approves budgets and annual business plans.
  • Supervises the adequacy of the organizational and accounting structure.

Thus, the main task of the board of directors is to strategically direct and control the management of the company in the interest of the shareholders. To accomplish this task, the board of directors generally meets with some periodicity.

Bylaws

Document listing the fundamental principles affecting an organization.
Organization of an association.

Candidates

The list of voters present within a ballot.
Represent the set of people eligible to receive votes.

City Commission

The municipal commission is an advisory and supporting body to the municipal administration, established to address specific issues and provide technical and expert opinions. The municipal commission may be composed of experts in the field, representatives of associations or other interested bodies.

The municipal commission is responsible for analyzing, studying and investigating specific issues pertaining to the activities of the municipality, providing opinions and proposals to the municipal administration in order to improve the quality of services offered to citizens.

City Council

The city council is the political and representative body of the municipality, elected by the citizens to represent them and administer the territory. It is composed of councilors elected directly by citizens in municipal elections.

The municipal council is responsible for adopting policies and decisions regarding land management, public works, services, urban planning, culture, sports, and all other aspects that affect the life of the municipality. It is also responsible for controlling the work of the municipal administration and making decisions regarding the municipal budget.

The city council is chaired by the mayor, who is responsible for convening and presiding over council meetings and ensuring the implementation of decisions made. The city council meets at regular intervals, in public sessions open to citizens, and its decisions are made by a majority vote of the councilors present.

Civil Code

It is a set of legal rules governing the relationship between persons, property and property rights in a state. It regulates a wide range of legal issues, including family law, inheritance law, labor law, commercial law, and bond law.

The Civil Code is one of the main codes of law in many countries and is often considered one of the foundations of modern jurisprudence.The Civil Code establishes the rules and principles that govern relationships between people: contracts, property, succession, and family rights, and provides a legal framework for resolving disputes and conflicts in these areas.

The Civil Code is often updated and amended to adapt to the needs of society and new technologies, but it is still a fundamental source of civil law in many countries.

Co-management

Co-management is an enterprise management model in which workers actively participate in business decisions and enterprise management. It is often associated with cooperative enterprises or enterprises that adopt participatory management models, in which workers cooperate in setting enterprise goals, planning activities and managing resources to promote workers’ active participation in enterprise life, improve working conditions and increase enterprise productivity.

Co-management is seen as an innovative and sustainable management model that can reconcile the interests of workers and business and promote corporate social responsibility.

Common Criteria

The Common Criteria (CC) is an international standard that defines security requirements for evaluating and certifying the security of IT products and systems. It was developed by a consortium of countries (U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany and Japan) and provides a security evaluation and certification process, which includes a series of tests and analysis to verify that the product or system meets the security requirements defined by the standard.

Common Criteria provides different levels of certification, depending on the degree of security required by the product or system, and is used in many industries, from defense to the financial sector.

Computer for voting (election machine)

Also called a voting machine or election machine, it is an electronic device specially designed to record and count votes cast during elections. A voting computer performs the following functions:

  • Record the voter’s vote.
  • Confirm to the voter the vote cast by providing a record before it is finally recorded.
  • Securely count and store votes cast. Data are protected by passwords and access codes.
  • Print a receipt of the grade cast to allow for possible verification.
  • Provide overall reports on the number of votes cast for each candidate or party.
  • Transfer data to a central unit to calculate final results in a secure and traceable manner.

The key aspects of a voting computer are: ease of use (it must be intuitive for the voter and require little instruction), traceability (each vote must be recorded indelibly and cannot be changed later), and security (data must be protected from unauthorized modification and access). Electronic voting machines were introduced with the aim of reducing human error and speeding up the counting process.

Constituency

It is a geographical subdivision of a territory in which voters have the right to vote to elect their representatives. Electoral constituencies are used in proportional representation systems, but they can also be used in majoritarian or mixed systems and are created to ensure fair and proportional representation of voters’ interests and preferences in different geographical areas. Electoral constituencies can be divided into different units: municipalities, provinces, or regions.

Constitution

The constitution is the fundamental document that defines the legal and political order of a state. It establishes the basic principles of state organization, the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, the structure and powers of government bodies, and the legality of the acts of public authorities. In addition, the constitution is the reference point for jurisdiction and control of the legality of the acts of public authorities and can be amended only by special procedures.

Constitutive quorum

Number of persons entitled to participate in a meeting (of members, condominiums, …) or election, necessary for the validity of the constitution of the meeting or the election itself.

Corporate offices

These are positions of responsibility and authority within nonprofit organizations or associations (cultural associations, voluntary, humanitarian or sports organizations).

Officers may be held by volunteers or elected members of the organization and may include various duties and responsibilities: chairing the organization, managing day-to-day activities, fundraising, managing human resources, and promoting and defining the organization and its activities.

Officers are important for the operation and development of nonprofit organizations, as they enable efficient and transparent management of activities and projects, promote the active participation of members and volunteers, and achieve the organization’s goals effectively and sustainably.

Cooperative

A cooperative is an organization of people who voluntarily join together to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations; through a collectively owned and democratically managed enterprise, based on the principles of voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, member economic participation, autonomy and independence, ongoing education, training and information, cooperation among cooperatives and concern for the community in which they operate.

Cooptation

Election of a member to a collegiate body or organ by nomination by members already in office.

Counting of votes

Procedure by which votes cast in a ballot or election are counted and verified.

Cryptography

Method of making a message unintelligible to people who do not have a key to decipher it.

Data Protection

Data protection is a set of measures and rules aimed at ensuring the privacy and security of individuals’ personal data, which are held by public or private organizations.

Personal data is information referring to a natural person, such as name, address, phone number, e-mail address, payment information, medical information, social media information, and other data that can identify an individual.

Data protection is important to ensure the privacy and security of individuals, prevent identity theft, discrimination, and cyberbullying, and ensure compliance with privacy and data protection regulations.

In many countries, there are specific laws and regulations on the protection of personal data, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union, which establishes strict rules on the handling of individuals’ personal data.

Democratic control

Democratic oversight refers to the process by which democratic institutions and civil society exercise control over the activities of governments and elected representatives to ensure that they act legally, transparently, and responsibly toward citizens.

Democratic control can be exercised by various actors: political parties, the media, civil society organizations, judicial institutions, supervisory authorities, and independent agencies. Each of these actors is responsible for monitoring the work of the government and elected representatives, for exposing any abuses of power or violations of the law, and for ensuring that government decisions and actions are in line with democratic values.

Democratic oversight can take many forms, such as civic participation, transparency of information, access to public documents, public oversight, parliamentary hearing, judicial review, supervisory authority investigation, and audit.

Democracy

Democracy is a form of government in which political power is exercised by the people, through the direct or indirect participation of individuals in the political life of the country.

In democracy, power is exercised through elected representatives who act in the interests of citizens and respond to their needs and demands. It is based on the principles of equality, freedom and justice, which involve the protection of the fundamental rights of the individual, separation of powers, transparency and accountability of institutions, citizen participation in political life, and freedom of expression and the press.

Democracy can be implemented in different ways, such as representative democracy, direct democracy, participatory democracy and deliberative democracy, and can differ significantly from one country to another, depending on its cultural, historical and political traditions.

Deliberative Assembly

Assembly that allows members to vote directly on initiatives chosen by them.
In recent years it has been used extensively within municipalities and local entities that have decided to grant more decision-making and democratic power to the citizenry.

Deliberative Democracy

Form of democracy that emphasizes the importance of dialogue and deliberation among citizens in making political decisions. The decision-making process involves gathering information, presenting different opinions and arguments, considering the interests of all parties involved, and seeking a reasoned and shared consensus. Deliberative democracy is based on the principles of equality, reciprocity, public reasoning and justice.

Deliberative quorum

Number of votes in favor to validly pass a resolution at a meeting (of members, condominiums, …) or an election or public consultation.

Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship, or active digital citizenship, is the set of skills and responsibilities that an individual must possess in order to participate actively and consciously in society. It consists of being able to use technologies responsibly, critically and creatively, and to understand the social, ethical and legal implications of online activities.

Digital citizenship also includes knowing the rights and responsibilities of citizens in the digital society, such as protecting privacy, protecting personal data, and combating hate speech and online disinformation.

Digital citizenship is important for active participation and is an evolving concept, as technologies and society itself are constantly evolving, representing a fundamental aspect of democratic participation and social welfare in contemporary society.

Digital Democracy

It is an evolution of the concept of democracy that is based on the use of digital technologies to improve citizen participation in political decisions, to increase transparency and accountability of governments.

In a digital democracy, citizens can actively participate in politics through the use of digital tools such as online platforms for consultation and participation, mobile applications for reporting issues and participating in electronic polls, and other digital communication tools that enable them to interact in real time with political representatives.

Digital democracy promotes access to clear and transparent information on decision-making processes and public policy outcomes, encourages active citizen participation in the setting of policy priorities and in the evaluation of government.

Digital key

The digital key, or cryptographic key, is a system for encrypting and decrypting information that is used to ensure the security and privacy of digital data. The digital key is a complex mathematical algorithm that is used to encrypt data so that it can be securely transmitted over the Internet or securely stored on a digital device.

The digital key can be used to encrypt data so that only the authorized recipient can decrypt it using the correct key. There are different types of digital keys, including symmetric keys and asymmetric keys. The former use the same type of key to encrypt and decrypt data, while the latter use two different keys, one public and one private, to encrypt and decrypt data.

The digital key is an important tool for ensuring the security and privacy of digital data, particularly for online financial transactions, communication through the Internet, and storage of sensitive data on digital devices.

Digital voting

The term “digital vote” can take on different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. In general, digital voting refers to the use of digital technologies, such as electronic devices or computer systems, to cast one’s vote in an election or referendum. Digital voting can be done through different modes, such as online voting, voting through apps, or voting through electronic voting machines.

Digitization

Digitization refers to the process of transforming information, data and content from an analog or physical format into a digital format. This process involves the use of digital technologies to record, store, manage and distribute information in a digital format.

Digitization has had a significant impact on many areas of society, including the economy, education, health, culture, and politics; and has enabled a broad democratization of access to information and services, helping to reduce inequality and improve people’s quality of life in many different ways.

Direct Democracy

Form of democracy in which citizens participate directly in political decision-making through mechanisms such as referendum, citizens’ initiative or town meeting.

Direct democracy aims to strengthen the active participation of citizens, promote transparency and accountability of institutions, and enhance the legitimacy of political decisions, but it can present some challenges such as the difficulty of achieving broad citizen participation and the possibility of discriminating against minorities.

d’Hondt Method

Method of seat allocation that involves dividing the total list votes by 1,2,3,4… to the number of seats to be allocated in the constituency.

Election

Selection of one or more candidates through election process.

Election Broglio

Illicit practice that can occur during elections and consists of fraudulently influencing or altering voting results. Election fraud can take several forms: vote buying, ballot falsification, violation of voting secrecy, manipulation of results, or voter intimidation.

Election fraud is a serious violation of voters’ democratic rights, as it distorts the process of selecting representatives and reduces the transparency and legitimacy of elections. Electoral fraud can be combated through a number of preventive and control measures: voter education, the use of advanced technologies for counting votes, the presence of independent observers, and the identification and punishment of those responsible for illegal practices.

Preventing election fraud is an essential element in ensuring democratic and representative elections.

Election Census

The electoral census, also known as the “voter register,” is the official list of citizens who have the right to vote in a particular territory or constituency. The census is usually carried out by election offices and involves recording the personal data of voters necessary to uniquely identify the voter.

Election Commission

The Election Commission coordinates and supervises the conduct of the procedure for the election of the Assembly of Delegates.

Election Law

Legislation regulating the organization of elections and how political representatives are chosen in a given country or constituency. Electoral law defines how seats are to be allocated, criteria for the admission of parties and candidates to elections, voting methods (e.g., list voting or uninominal voting), and bar thresholds for access to Parliament.

Election list

Electoral list identifies a list of people who run, together and/or in opposition in an electoral contest, for the purpose of holding elected office.

Electoral reform

Electoral reform is a set of changes to electoral laws that aim to improve a country’s electoral system, ensure more equitable representation of citizens, and promote democratic participation. Electoral reforms may include revising voting systems, changing electoral district boundaries, introducing campaign finance rules, removing barriers to entry for independent candidates, lowering the voting age etc.

The main goal of electoral reform is to improve the integrity of the electoral process and to ensure that all citizens have a fair opportunity to participate in the decision-making process to increase the representation of political or ethnic minorities, to reduce the influence of money in politics, and to prevent electoral corruption.

Electoral system

Set of rules and regulations that determine how political elections are conducted and how citizens’ votes are converted into seats or representation. The electoral system may include voting methods, such as single or list voting, counting of votes, definition of constituencies, determination of the number of seats to be allocated etc.

Electronic identification

Electronic identification is a technology for verifying a person’s identity through the use of electronic devices, such as smart cards, tokens, biometrics, or other means of digital authentication.

Electronic identification can be used in a variety of contexts, such as accessing online services, performing financial transactions, accessing corporate networks, and even for electronic voting.

Electronic identification can be more secure and reliable than traditional authentication methods, such as passwords or paper signatures, because it uses advanced technologies to ensure the authenticity of the user’s identity. In addition, electronic identification can be more convenient and faster, reducing the risk of fraud and simplifying authentication procedures.

Electronic voting

It is a voting system in which the voter expresses his or her preference through an electronic device, such as a computer. Electronic voting is used in many countries around the world as an alternative to paper voting in order to simplify the voting process and reduce the risk of miscounting and election fraud. Electronic voting can be done remotely, such as through the Internet, or at the polling place, through special voting machines.

E-democracy

Digital democracy, or e-democracy, (English: e-democracy, contraction of electronic democracy) is the form of participatory and/or direct democracy that makes use of modern information and communication technologies (especially Web 2.0) in political participation and/or popular consultations.

E-inclusion

Active population policies that aim to include the population in the information society, including especially the most vulnerable.

E-participation

The purpose of e-Participation initiatives is to improve citizens’ access to public information and services, promote and foster participation in public decisions that affect the life of society both individually and collectively.

Evoting

E-voting – electronic voting – means the various methods aimed at enabling the expression of votes and counting of preferences through electronic and computer technologies.

Exchange vote

Vote-for-trade is an illegal practice in which a candidate or political party promises to give money, jobs, favors, or other things in exchange for a voter’s vote. Vote-for-trade is a violation of election law and democracy, as it corrupts the electoral process and undermines voters’ freedom of choice.

Governing bodies

Management and representative bodies of an organization. They are composed of a group of people elected or appointed by the organization’s members, partners, or shareholders, who are responsible for setting strategies, planning activities, and administering funds.

Governing bodies perform the following functions: setting strategic directions, monitoring financial and operational performance, setting the budget, and managing human resources.

Governing bodies are also responsible for representing the organization to suppliers, customers, and institutions, and may include the board of directors, president, general secretary, general manager, and other managers and executives.

Governing Council

The governing board is the main governing body of an organization and is responsible for managing and directing the organization’s activities; it consists of a group of people elected or appointed to represent the interests of the organization and its members. The board makes important strategic decisions, such as those regarding budget, policies, operations, recruitment, and development strategies. It also oversees and evaluates the organization’s activities, ensuring that its goals and principles are adhered to.

The board meets regularly to discuss important issues and make decisions collaboratively. Members may be paid or volunteer, depending on the organization and its policies.

Hare Method

The Hare-niemeyer method is a mathematical method for allocating seats in electoral systems that use the proportional method. It is the most proportional method of seat allocation systems, as it simply allocates seats in perfect proportion to the votes received. The above method is also referred to as the highest remainders and is named after Thomas Hare, a British politician and inventor of the Single Transferable Vote (STV). The other name is that of German mathematician Horst Friedrich Niemeyer who gave his name to the method used by the Bundestag from 1987 to 2005.

Hybrid voting

Voting that can take place simultaneously in-person and remotely with integrated or fully electronic voting systems.

Institutional positions

Institutional positions represent positions of great responsibility within a public, political or administrative organization and involve the exercise of specific powers and responsibilities within the organization. Such positions may be elected or appointed and have different levels of authority and responsibility.

Institutional offices are found in all forms of organizations, from state institutions to international organizations, from local institutions to political parties, from nongovernmental organizations to associations.

Institutional offices may be the subject of elections, appointments or selections within the organization, and require special skills and requirements of experience and training. They are an important tool for democratic participation and management of public and private organizations, ensuring fairness, transparency and representativeness. In this way, institutional offices are a crucial element in the proper functioning of organizations and in the protection of the interests of their member citizens.

I-voting

Expression of vote through the use of the Internet.

Imperfect Bicameralism

It is a system of parliamentary representation in which the legislative body consists of two chambers, but in which one chamber has greater power or authority than the other. It differs from perfect bicameralism in which the two chambers have equal and symmetrical powers and functions.

In an imperfect bicameral system, usually the chamber with more power is the one that directly represents the people, while the other chamber represents territorial or other interests. For example, in many countries the bicameral system has a house of representatives and a senate, and the house of representatives has more power because voters elect it directly.

Imperfect bicameralism can be a compromise between the need to represent territorial interests and those of the people, but it can also create problems with the balance of power between the two chambers and democratic representation.

Liquid Democracy

It is a model of participatory democracy that combines elements of representative democracy and direct democracy. Voters can choose to exercise their right to vote directly on certain issues or to delegate their vote to trusted representatives, while retaining the ability to revoke the delegation at any time.

Liquid democracy is based on community trust and the idea that citizens are capable of making informed and responsible decisions about public issues. This model of democracy has been proposed as an alternative to traditional representative democracy, which is often criticized for its lack of representativeness and the distance between citizens and political representatives.

Local elections

They are a type of election held at the local, regional, or national level to elect representatives of administrative institutions, such as mayors, city councilors, regional councilors, or civil service representatives. In addition, they can be held with different rules and procedures, depending on the laws and regulations in force in the country or region where the election is held.

List ballot

Operation that assigns a vote to a list of candidates instead of the individual.

Mandate

A mandate is an assignment or authorization given to a person or organization to act on behalf of another person, group, or institution, for a specific period of time and for a specific purpose.

Mandate can take different forms, depending on the context in which it is used, and it implies a responsibility to those who have given it and requires the person or organization receiving it to act in the interest of the party that gave the mandate.

The mandate may be revoked or modified at any time by the party granting it if the person or organization receiving it fails to act appropriately or fulfill its obligations under the mandate.

Membership Assembly

The shareholders’ meeting represents the most important decision-making body of an organization, such as a company, association, or cooperative. It is composed of all the members (or shareholders) of the organization itself and is called upon to make decisions that are fundamental to its operation and future. Among the most important decisions that the Members’ Meeting is called upon to make are the election of board members, approval of budgets, amendment of the organization’s bylaws, and other strategic decisions that may affect the activities of the organization itself. In other words, the Members’ Assembly is a time of democratic discussion and participation for all members of the organization.

The members’ meeting is convened by the board of directors or the president of the organization, and is held at least once a year. However, the membership meeting can also be convened at any time if there are important issues that need to be discussed and decided by the members of the organization.

The members’ meeting is a democratic body, in which each member is entitled to one vote, regardless of the number of shares or stake held in the organization. Decisions of the membership assembly are made by majority vote, unless otherwise stipulated in the organization’s bylaws.

Mobile Voting

Voting through the use of smartphones.

Motion

Proposal that, within an assembly, one or more members make for a resolution to be carried out or an official stance to be taken on a particular issue.

National Committee

A generic term for a body established at the national level with powers established on an ad hoc basis to address issues whose resolution requires an overall view and national perspective, bringing together ideas, contributions, and experience of different experts. Specifically, a national committee:

It is officially established, usually by an act of government regulation.
It is composed of experts, professionals and prominent personalities in a given field.
It is intended to perform study, advisory and proposal functions on issues of national interest with respect to its field of expertise.
It may be responsible for making recommendations or rules for the relevant field.
It may monitor the implementation of policies and programs at the state level.
It may serve as an advisory and technical body to support the government.

National Congress

Representative and governing body of a political party at the national level.

The national congress is composed of delegates elected by the party’s individual circles or sections and is responsible for setting its policy, electing members of the national executive committee, and approving amendments to the party’s bylaws.

The national congress is usually held on a regular basis, representing an important time for the democratic participation of the members and for shaping the political strategy of the party itself.

Neighborhood councils

Neighborhood councils are bodies of citizen representation and participation at the local level, which are responsible for fostering discussion and collaboration between residents and the public administration on issues that affect neighborhood life. They are an example of participatory democracy and local governance.

The main functions of neighborhood councils include collecting proposals and suggestions from citizens, participating in the definition of participatory budgeting, promoting cultural and social activities, enhancing the historical and cultural heritage of the area, and working with neighborhood associations and informal groups.

Nonprofit Association

Organization that is non-profit and pursues socially useful purposes (the promotion of cultural activities, the organization of sports events or the support of people in need, …).

A nonprofit association is formed by a group of people who voluntarily join together to achieve a common purpose, and it is not intended to distribute profits or dividends among its members. Activities are financed through membership dues, any donations, public or private contributions, and proceeds from activities carried out, which must be reinvested in the activity of the organization itself.

Null tab

Ballot within which there is a voting expression error with respect to the rules of the election. The error may be voluntary or accidental on the part of the voter.

OO.SS.

Acronym for “Trade Union Organizations,” a term for the set of organizations that represent workers and promote the protection of their rights and interests.

SSOs can be of different types and levels: they can be national or territorial, general or sectoral, and represent different categories of workers, such as civil servants, workers in industry, commerce, services, nonprofits, etc.

The SSOs are responsible for negotiating and entering into collective bargaining agreements, representing workers in disputes with employers or institutions, promoting vocational training and occupational safety, and participating in public policy-making on labor and social protection issues.

Online (or internet) voting

It is a form of electronic voting in which the voter expresses his or her preference through an Internet connection, using a computing device, such as a computer or smartphone. Online voting is an evolution of electronic voting and is used in some countries as an alternative to paper voting or voting at the polling place. Online voting can be done remotely, wherever the voter has an Internet connection, and can be managed through special electronic voting software.

Open voting

Votes cast by voters are openly displayed, and each voter’s vote allocation can be recognized during the ballot.

Participation platform

A participation platform is an online or digital system designed to foster participation and interaction among citizens, organizations and institutions.

Participation platforms can offer several features: collecting feedback and opinions through online surveys, sharing information and data, discussing issues of public interest, submitting proposals and ideas, and collaborating in the planning and implementation of projects and initiatives.

Participation platforms can be used in a variety of contexts, such as politics, governance, urban planning, environment, culture, and education.

The main objective of participation platforms is to actively involve citizens in public life and in shaping the decisions and policies that affect them, fostering greater transparency, accountability and inclusion. However, their effectiveness depends on their ability to reach a wide audience and ensure a high level of participation and representativeness.

Participatory budgeting

Form of direct citizen participation in the political life of their city/organization. It consists of allocating a portion of the organization’s budget to direct citizen management.

Participatory Democracy

Form of democracy in which citizens actively participate in the political life of the country through direct and indirect forms of participation.

Participatory democracy aims to strengthen citizen participation, foster transparency and accountability of institutions, promote the building of a culture of active participation, and strengthen the legitimacy of political decisions, but it can present some challenges such as the difficulty of achieving broad citizen participation and the need to ensure the quality and reliability of decision-making.

Passive voters

Active voters are those who actively participate in elections and the democratic process in general. This includes not only the right to vote, but also interest and engagement in informing themselves about candidates, discussing and debating ideas, and mobilizing and raising awareness of other voters.

Active voters are thus essential to the functioning of democracy, as they help ensure balanced and representative participation and maintain democratic control over public institutions and policies.

Passive voting rights

Passive voting right refers to the possibility of being a candidate and being elected to an election, rather than exercising the right to vote.

Participation platform

A participation platform is an online or digital system designed to foster participation and interaction among citizens, organizations and institutions.

Participation platforms can offer several features: collecting feedback and opinions through online surveys, sharing information and data, discussing issues of public interest, submitting proposals and ideas, and collaborating in the planning and implementation of projects and initiatives.

Participation platforms can be used in a variety of contexts, such as politics, governance, urban planning, environment, culture, and education.

The main objective of participation platforms is to actively involve citizens in public life and in shaping the decisions and policies that affect them, fostering greater transparency, accountability and inclusion. However, their effectiveness depends on their ability to reach a wide audience and ensure a high level of participation and representativeness.

People’s Initiative Law

Legislative procedure provided in some countries that allows citizens to propose a law and request its discussion and approval by parliament or a legislative body.

The citizens’ initiative law is a way for citizens to participate in public policy-making and to exercise democratic control over public institutions. In some countries, the citizens’ initiative law is provided at the national level, while in other countries it is provided at the local or regional level.

The citizens’ initiative procedure may vary depending on the country in which it is applied. In some countries, it is necessary to collect a certain number of signatures or support from citizens in order to submit a bill. In other countries, it is necessary to submit a detailed bill, which is discussed and considered by the appropriate legislative body.

In addition, the citizens’ initiative law may be subject to various limitations and restrictions, depending on the laws and regulations in force in the country where it is applied.

Perfect Bicameralism

System of parliamentary representation in which legislative power is divided between two chambers or legislative assemblies of equal importance and power, which control each other. In a system of perfect bicameralism, both chambers have the power to legislate, pass laws, and control the work of the government, but their scope of authority can be differentiated.

For example, in some countries, the House of Representatives may have the power to initiate the legislative process and pass laws concerning the budget, while the Senate may be in charge of ratifying international treaties and overseeing the work of the government.

Perfect bicameralism has been adopted in many countries (Italy, France, Germany, the United States, and Japan) and was designed to ensure a balance of power among the different institutions, avoid the concentration of power in the hands of a single legislative assembly, and encourage a broader and more representative debate of the different opinions and interests of society.

Petition

A petition is a formal request submitted by a group of people asking for a specific change or action by an authority or organization. Petitions can be submitted locally, nationally or internationally and can cover a wide range of issues, such as civil rights, environmental protection, animal welfare, public policy etc.

Petitions can be submitted in a variety of ways, such as in writing, through an online platform or through a public demonstration, and usually contain a detailed description of the problem, followed by specific demands or actions that one asks the authorities to take.

Popular consultation

It is a voting procedure to allow citizens to express their opinion on a particular issue of public interest. It may be held at the national, regional, or local level, and may concern political, social, or economic issues.

Popular consultations can be of different types, depending on the voting method and procedure prescribed by law, and are a fundamental tool for the democratic participation of citizens in public life, ensuring that they can express an opinion on the management of public affairs and political decisions that affect their territory and community.

Proportional system

Electoral system that allocates seats in proportion to the votes obtained by political parties or coalitions of parties. Under this system, votes not used to elect a candidate from a particular party or coalition are not lost, but are distributed proportionally to other parties or coalitions according to the number of votes they received.

In practice, the proportional system favors the representation of smaller parties and their political views, allowing them to gain seats even if they did not obtain a majority of votes. In addition, this system tends to reduce the effect of coalitions that obtain a majority of votes but not an absolute majority of seats, thus avoiding the dominance of a single political force. The proportional system is used in many countries around the world, including Italy, Germany, and many other European nations.

Professional Association

An organization representing a group of professionals who share common interests and work together to promote and protect their professional activities, their members and the industry in which they work.

Professional Associations carry out a variety of activities: promoting the training and continuing education of their members, setting standards of ethics and professional behavior, representing their members’ interests to authorities and institutions, disseminating information, and promoting studies and research on their field of expertise.

Protest vote

Type of vote cast by a voter as a form of protest against the political system or a particular policy, rather than as support for a specific party or candidate. This type of voting may be influenced by a sense of frustration or disappointment with traditional political parties, an incumbent government, or a particular policy decision.

Referendum

It is a legal institution by which the electorate is asked to cast a direct vote on a specific proposal or question.

Register of those eligible to vote

The register of eligible voters is an official list of all persons who meet the requirements to vote in an election. This list is compiled by election authorities and contains the personal information of voters: name, address, age, and other relevant information. The register of eligible voters is used to ensure that only people who meet the requirements set by law can vote in an election.

The register of eligible voters is usually publicly available so that voters can verify their inclusion and correct any errors or omissions. In some countries, such as the United States, voters must register voluntarily to be included in the voter registry, while in other countries, such as Italy, registration is done automatically based on information provided by other government sources.

Regulations

A regulation is a legal act issued by a public or private authority for the purpose of governing and regulating the activities of an organization or group of people.

Regulations are often used to specify how a law or other legal rule is to be applied, providing detailed guidance on the procedures and requirements to be followed to comply with its obligations.

Resolution

Process by which an assembly or collegial body makes a decision or determination on a particular issue through discussion, gathering information, and presenting possible solutions. Deliberation ends with the adoption of a resolution, which is a formal act expressing the decision or determination made.

Resolutions may be adopted by governing bodies: city councils, company assemblies, boards of directors, association steering committees, etc. A resolution may be adopted by a majority vote of the members of the assembly or collegiate body, or according to specific procedures set forth in the rules governing the functioning of the body itself.

Resolutions can be binding or non-binding depending on their content and the context in which they are adopted. Binding resolutions are those that have direct legal effect and oblige the parties involved to comply with what has been established. Non-binding resolutions, on the other hand, have advisory value and are not mandatory.

Right to vote

It is the fundamental right that guarantees every citizen who is of legal age and meets the requirements of the law to participate in elections and to exercise their political power and influence the decisions made by the government by electing their representatives and participating in shaping public policy.

Moreover, the right to vote is a form of expression of individual freedom and the democratic principle of equality of citizens. It is a civil and political right, guaranteed by the state and protected by law. It is considered a universal and inalienable right, which cannot be denied on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, religion or any other discriminatory factor.

Secret ballot

Votes cast by voters are secret, and at the polling stage it is not possible to know each voter’s vote allocation. Known secret ballots are general elections.

Seat

A seat is a place or position in a legislative assembly or a municipal or regional council occupied by an elected representative of the people. A seat represents the right of an individual or political party to be officially represented in an assembly or governing body.

The total number of seats available in an assembly or governing body depends on the electoral laws of the country or region in question, and may vary according to population and geographical subdivision. Elected representatives fill seats based on election results, which may be determined by a majority or proportional system.

Shibboleth

Shibboleth is a single sign-on system for computer networks. It enables authentication on different systems, allowing login on networks of different organizations or institutions using a single identity.

Survey

It is a statistical survey conducted on a sample of individuals in order to gather information about a particular opinion, attitude, or behavior of interest. Surveys can be conducted through a variety of methodologies, including telephone, online, mail, or in-person interviews.

Telematic voting

Voting that takes place by digital means. However, telematic voting can still take place within an assembly or in-person vote. Recent examples of telematic voting were the questions in the Veneto and Lombardy regions in 2017 where the voter was called to vote and expressed his or her preference inside a physical voting booth, but voting with a tablet connected to the network.

Turnout

Number of people present out of the total number of eligible voters within a ballot.

United Trade Union Representatives

Trade union body that exists in every workplace, public and private. Members are not officials of a trade union, but workers or female workers who play a specific role: to represent the categories of workers in defending their interests within the workplace.

Universal Suffrage

Universal suffrage is the principle that every citizen, regardless of social position, race, gender, religion or other personal characteristics, has the right to participate in elections and exercise his or her right to vote. Universal suffrage guarantees the right of every citizen to participate in the political life of the country and to express his or her will through voting.

Today, universal suffrage is recognized as a basic human right and is guaranteed in most constitutions of democratic countries.

Voting app

A voting application (or voting app) is a software platform designed to enable users to express their preferences in an election or consultation through a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.

Voting apps can provide voters with a range of features, such as registering voters, verifying voter identity, displaying information about candidates or propositions on the ballot, allowing voters to express election preferences securely and privately, and counting and publishing election results in real time.

Voting booth

The voting booth is a space reserved for the voter to vote secretly during an election or ballot and consists of an area enclosed by walls or a curtain to ensure the voter’s privacy. Inside the voting booth, the voter can view the ballots or other documents necessary to cast his or her vote, without other people being able to see or influence his or her choice.

The voting booth is a key element in ensuring the secrecy of voting, one of the fundamental principles of democracy.

In Italy, the voting booth is required by law during general, regional, local and European elections, as well as during referendums. Violation of the secrecy of voting is considered a crime and can be punished with criminal penalties.

Voting characters

Voting is the act of expressing one’s preference in an election or referendum.

The characters of voting-defined in the second paragraph of Article 48 of the Constitution-are its essential properties and qualities that distinguish it as a unique and important instrument of democratic participation. The main characters of the vote are:

1. Secrecy: voting should be secret, that is, the voter should be able to freely express his or her preference without outside pressure or interference.

2. Universal: Every citizen of full age and who meets the requirements of the law has the right to vote, without discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

3. Free: the voter must be able to express his or her preference freely, without being pressured or influenced by third parties or political organizations.

4. Personal: voting must be cast personally by the voter, without proxies or representatives.

5. Periodic: elections should be periodic and regular to ensure rotation of representatives and democratic participation of citizens.

6. Public: the counting of votes and announcement of results must be public and transparent to ensure the legitimacy of the election process.

7. Binding: the election result must be binding, that is, the elected representatives must respond to the needs and preferences of the voters who voted for them.

Voting system

Set of procedures, rules, and technologies used to record and count the votes cast by voters in an election or assembly. The voting system may vary depending on the type of election or consultation, but generally involves the use of ballots or an online platform to express voter preferences, and procedures to ensure the secrecy, accuracy, and reliability of the electronic or paper voting process.

The voting system may also include procedures for identifying voters, verifying the validity of votes cast, managing election results, resolving any disputes or appeals, and publishing results. The main objective of the voting system is to ensure the integrity of the election process and the proper representation of the will of the voters.

Voters

The list of voters present within a ballot.
Represent the set of people eligible to cast votes.

Weighted/weighted grade

Allows voters on the ballot to be managed with different electoral weights. Example: within funds, weight varies with respect to corporate share.

Eligo eVoting Glossary

Area administrator

The Area Administrator is a key figure within the Eligo eVoting platform, responsible for managing and setting up voting and assemblies. This role involves a number of crucial responsibilities, including configuring voting parameters, defining voting options, and overseeing the proper conduct of election procedures, as well as managing their own eligible voters.

Credentials

Username and Password provided to each voter to log in to the ELIGO voting system.

Dashboard

Platform environment where the organizer visualizes the progress of voting, verifying voters, those present, and quorum.

Delegate

Person who yields a vote to another voter (the latter represents the proxy).

Disjointed delegation

The person called to vote receives as many voting cards as there are proxies.
He or she can then decide to vote differently each time, based also on the proxy received.

Identifier

Unique code associated with each voter during voter upload to log in to the ELIGO voting system.

Joint delegation

The person who is also called to vote for the proxy expresses his or her voting intention only once. The same intention is then confirmed for all proxies in his or her possession.

Management in Full – Out

Full-Out Management represents an advanced level of support offered by the Eligo eVoting platform. In this scenario, Eligo’s team of experts provides a complete voting management service, taking responsibility for the entire process, from initial setup to vote collection and processing. Full-Out Management offers a dedicated and professional level of support to ensure the smooth running of election procedures, relieving users of any operational concerns.

Management in Self-service

Self-Service Management allows users to manage certain aspects of election procedures themselves. With this option, users can configure and customize their own voting, defining parameters such as dates, participation rules and voting options without requiring intervention from the Eligo team.

Observer

Person chosen by one’s organization to monitor the progress of the election in ELIGO.

OTP – One time password

Tool that strengthens access to one’s ballot. After entering username and password, the voter must confirm a numerical code received on their phone.

Qr – Code

The QR Code (short for Quick Response Code) is a type of two-dimensional bar code, consisting of a set of black and white square modules that can be read by an electronic device, such as a smartphone or tablet.To read a QR code, you need an electronic device equipped with a camera and a specific application for reading QR codes. Once the QR code is scanned with the device’s camera, the application decodes the information contained in the code and displays it on the screen.In the case of Eligo, scanning the QR-Code provides direct access to the voting platform.

Proxy

Ability of one person to look after the interests on behalf of another (the latter represents the proxy).

Single sign on

Allows a user to perform a single authentication valid for multiple software systems or computing resources to which they are enabled.

Statement

Final PDF report generated by the voting platform and held by area organizers. Allows you to check the opening and closing times of the assembly proceedings, the election register and election results.