Electronic voting systems for the European Parliament

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The Electronic Voting Systems installed by Olivetti for the European Parliament in 1980 were built with a network of microprocessor controlled voting terminals connected by a custom designed local area network to an Olivetti P6060 minicomputer.

The 420 terminals included an Intel 4748 single chip microprocessor controlling the punched card reader, the voting keys and the display lights, in addition to the serial interface to the LAN. The transmission was over a 19200 baud RS422 telephone cable using a polling-selecting software protocol controlled by the minicomputer.

After the first system was installed in Strasbourg it was determined that the interpreted basic software used by the P6060 was limiting the polling speed from the network. An intelligent unit was therefore installed to perform the polling selecting functions using an Intel 8080 microprocessor controlled microprogrammed for the specific function. This unit was first installed in the second system of Luxembourg, where it was used for the first time for the voting of the Budget, with over 500 nominal votes were performed in just 4 hours - It would have taken about two hours for each of the 500 votes using the traditional manual procedures.[1]. The Strasbourg system was then updated with a similar intelligent unit. The P6060 was later replaced with one of the newest Olivetti personal computers.

The terminals, the local area network and the intelligent polling unit were designed and manufactured by a subcontractor of Olivetti: Elema spa, were Enrico Massetti [2] was the main designer.

The voting system was later updated and expanded by the Eurel Informatica Spa[3] company that was founded by Enzo Costa, the former Olivetti engineer who had been in charge of the original project for Olivetti.

The first time the system was used in Luxembourg it failed miserably https://enricomassetti.com/local-area-network-failure/