[E-voting] Open source voting system
michael at hexmedia.com
michael at hexmedia.com
Mon Apr 8 17:07:03 IST 2013
On 2013-04-08 14:38, Kommer Kleijn wrote:
> I actually distinguish three levels of trust in a voting system:
> 1)not-verifiable, 2)verifiable, 3)verified. Only the third is
> acceptable for democratic elections. "It can eventually be verified"
> is not good enough. The count needs to be actually verified by human
> citizens. Up to today only forms of manual counting provide that
I think the distinction between 1), 2) and 3) is important particularly
the US context, where they started out with not-verifiable voting
and in some cases at least, have ended up with "verifiable" systems,
but the effort of verification is a significant burden. So, it's
even with the best of intentions, it will be carried out in all cases.
So, it's not a very satisfactory situation in the US.
I haven't been following this subject for a few years, and it may well
have moved on
in directions unknown to me, but a while back I was
interested in cryptographic voting and counting systems. I (still)
these have the potential to meet the requirements for "verified"
where voters are not required to trust the election system provided by
election authorities. Since verification is done by independent
software, and independent individuals, it is much more likely to happen
in every election.
I did a small bit of research myself, on a crypto system for
and I know others have done similar (and better) work than mine.
But, what it showed (to me) is that despite the apparent complexity in
systems like STV,
it is possible to record and count votes by software and prove
afterwards that it was
all done correctly and without having to reveal any information that
in today's manual election systems.
One problem with these systems though is how complicated they are to
and nobody is going to trust a system they don't understand. Having
I think that problem may be surmountable. Understanding of technology
be at different levels anyway. In any case, there are other issues, not
the scepticism that the previous generation of voting systems has
So, I don't see anything like this happening any time soon.
As regards this project, my 2 cents would be that it should be done in
of a complete election system. It's not really worth solving one piece
of the puzzle
(a scanning system) without knowing how (or if) it fits into an overall
some election system.
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