Verifiable Postal Voting

  • Josh Benaloh
  • Peter Y. A. Ryan
  • Vanessa Teague
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8263)


This proposal aims to combine the best properties of paper-based and end-to-end verifiable remote voting systems. Ballots are delivered electronically to voters, who return their votes on paper together with some cryptographic information that allows them to verify later that their votes were correctly included and counted.

We emphasise the ease of the voter’s experience, which is not much harder than basic electronic delivery and postal returns. A typical voter needs only to perform a simple check that the human-readable printout reflects the intended vote. The only extra work is adding some cryptographic information into the same envelope as the human-readable vote.

The proposed scheme is not strictly end-to-end verifiable, because it depends on procedural assumptions at the point where the ballots are received. These procedures should be public and could be enforced by a group of observers, but are not publicly verifiable afterwards by observers who were absent at the time.


electronic voting verifiability postal voting vote by mail end-to-end verifiable voting 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [Adi08]
    Adida, B.: Helios: Web-based Open-Audit Voting (2008)Google Scholar
  2. [BBK+12]
    Benaloh, J., Byrne, M., Kortum, P., McBurnett, N., Pereira, O., Stark, P.B., Wallach, D.S.: Star-vote: A secure, transparent, auditable, and reliable voting system (2012)Google Scholar
  3. [Ben06]
    Benaloh, J.: Simple verifiable elections. In: Proc. 1st USENIX Accurate Electronic Voting Technology Workshop (2006)Google Scholar
  4. [BJL+11]
    Benaloh, J., Jones, D., Lazarus, E., Lindeman, M., Stark, P.B.: Soba: Secrecy-preserving observable ballot-level audit. In: Proc. USENIX Accurate Electronic Voting Technology Workshop (2011)Google Scholar
  5. [CGS97]
    Cramer, R., Gennaro, R., Schoenmakers, B.: A secure and optimally efficient multi-authority election scheme. In: Fumy, W. (ed.) EUROCRYPT 1997. LNCS, vol. 1233, pp. 103–118. Springer, Heidelberg (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [Cha01]
    Chaum, D.: SureVote: Technical Overview. In: Proceedings of the Workshop on Trustworthy Elections, WOTE 2001 (2001)Google Scholar
  7. [Gj10]
    Gjsteen, K.: Analysis of an internet voting protocol. Cryptology ePrint Archive, Report 2010/380 (2010),
  8. [HRT10]
    Heather, J., Ryan, P.Y.A., Teague, V.: Pretty good democracy for more expressive voting schemes. In: Gritzalis, D., Preneel, B., Theoharidou, M. (eds.) ESORICS 2010. LNCS, vol. 6345, pp. 405–423. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [JJR02]
    Jakobsson, M., Juels, A., Rivest, R.: Making Mix Nets Robust for Electronic Voting by Randomized Partial Checking. In: USENIX Security Symposium, pp. 339–353 (2002)Google Scholar
  10. [JS12]
    Jones, D.W., Simons, B.: Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count? University of Chicago Press (2012)Google Scholar
  11. [MN10]
    Moran, T., Naor, M.: Split-ballot voting: Everlasting privacy with distributed trust. ACM Transactions on Information and System Security 13, 16:1–16:43 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [RT13]
    Ryan, P.Y.A., Teague, V.: Pretty Good Deomcracy. In: Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Workshop on Security Protocols 2009 (2013)Google Scholar
  13. [RTsRBN]
    Rosen, A., Ta-shma, A., Riva, B., Ben-Nun, J.(Y.): Wombat voting systemGoogle Scholar
  14. [SK95]
    Sako, K., Kilian, J.: Receipt-free mix-type voting scheme. In: Guillou, L.C., Quisquater, J.-J. (eds.) EUROCRYPT 1995. LNCS, vol. 921, pp. 393–403. Springer, Heidelberg (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [ZCC+13]
    Zagórski, F., Carback, R.T., Chaum, D., Clark, J., Essex, A., Vora, P.L.: Remotegrity: Design and use of an end-to-end verifiable remote voting system. In: Jacobson, M., Locasto, M., Mohassel, P., Safavi-Naini, R. (eds.) ACNS 2013. LNCS, vol. 7954, pp. 441–457. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josh Benaloh
    • 1
  • Peter Y. A. Ryan
    • 2
  • Vanessa Teague
    • 3
  1. 1.Microsoft ResearchRedmondUSA
  2. 2.University of LuxembourgLuxembourg
  3. 3.Department of Computing and Information SystemsUniversity of MelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations