The conventional (election) voting systems, e.g., representative democracy, have many limitations and often fail to serve the best interest of the people in a collective decision-making process. To address this issue, the concept of liquid democracy has been emerging as an alternative decision-making model to make better use of “the wisdom of crowds”. However, there is no known cryptographically secure e-voting implementation that supports liquid democracy.
In this work, we propose a new voting concept called statement voting, which can be viewed as a natural extension of the conventional voting approaches. In the statement voting, instead of defining a concrete election candidate, each voter can define a statement in his/her ballot but leave the vote “undefined” during the voting phase. During the tally phase, the (conditional) actions expressed in the statement will be carried out to determine the final vote. We initiate the study of statement voting under the Universal Composability (UC) framework, and propose several construction frameworks together with their instantiations. As an application, we show how statement voting can be used to realize a UC-secure liquid democracy voting system. We remark that our statement voting can be extended to enable more complex voting and generic ledger-based non-interactive multi-party computation. We believe that the statement voting concept opens a door for constructing a new class of e-voting schemes.
We thank Jeremy Clark and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. The first author was partially supported by EPSRC grant EP/P034578/1. The second author was partially supported by NSF award #1801470. This work is also supported by Ergo platform, Fractal Platform, and Blockchain institute.
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