Cryptographic Protocols for Electronic Voting Essay

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Cryptographic Protocols for Electronic Voting

After some preliminary research into the subject of electronic voting [BARL2003], it became apparent that there may be reason to mistrust current electronic voting systems. Further, as I studied a variety of voting systems, I realized I had little confidence that any of them (even paper ballots) would be guaranteed to produce a perfectly accurate tally.

In my previous paper [BARL2003], I suggested the following definition: "An accurate voting system counts all valid votes with minimal processing error such that the intent of eligible voters is reflected in the final tally."

I believe it is important for a voting system to (a) minimize error, (b) count all valid votes, and (c)
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An effort is made to protect the voting machines using physical security techniques such as locking mechanisms and guards. I will assume for the moment that the physical security cannot be breached, that election officials perform ethically, and that it is possible for election officials to determine quickly and easily whether an individual is eligible to vote based on credentials. Thus, my concern becomes how to demonstrate that a vote is valid once it is cast and the voter walks away from the polling location. In other words, the vote-counter needs a way to determine whether a cast vote is valid.

Let's say that a vote is valid if (a) the ballot was cast by an eligible voter, (b) the eligible voter did not vote more than once in the current election, and (c) the ballot was not altered in transit, between the realm of the voter and the realm of the vote-counter. Thus, the authenticity and integrity of the ballot are important in determining whether a vote is valid.

All this considered, I believe it is most important that the intent of eligible voters is reflected in the final tally. Indeed, if there is a way for each eligible voter to verify that his or her vote is counted correctly, then there is a way to check whether the electronic voting system counted the valid votes without error.

The potential exists for electronic voting systems to provide a method for eligible

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