Paper Audit Trails and Voters’ Privacy Concerns

  • Jurlind Budurushi
  • Simon Stockhardt
  • Marcel Woide
  • Melanie Volkamer
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8533)


Advances in information technology have simplified many processes in our lives. However, in many cases trust issues arise when new technology is introduced, and voting is one prominent example. To increase voters’ trust, current e-voting systems provide paper audit trails (PATs) which enable automatic tally and/or manual audit of the election result. PATs may contain only the encrypted vote or the plaintext vote in human-readable and/or machine-readable format. Previous studies report voter privacy concerns with PATs containing additional information (e.g. QR-Codes) other than the human-readable plaintext vote. However, omitting such PATs negatively influences security and/or efficiency. Hence, to address these concerns we applied the coping and threat appraisal principles of the protection motivation theory in the communication process. We evaluated them in separate surveys focused on the EasyVote system [15]. Results show that the coping appraisal is more promising than the threat appraisal approach. While our findings provide novel directions on addressing privacy concerns in the e-voting context, corresponding limitations need to be considered for future user studies.


electronic voting paper audit trails privacy user study 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jurlind Budurushi
    • 1
  • Simon Stockhardt
    • 1
  • Marcel Woide
    • 1
  • Melanie Volkamer
    • 1
  1. 1.CASEDTU DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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