Electronic Voting: Starting Over?

  • Yvo Desmedt
  • Kaoru Kurosawa
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3650)


We solve an 18 year open problem on e-voting. While most research on e-voting is focused on MIX servers, or on homomorphic encryption based schemes, or on blind signatures schemes, the issue raised by Cohen (Benaloh) is usually ignored. Cohen, using a trusted center, developed a yes/no voting scheme in which the outcome is revealed, keeping the tally private. In 1986, Benaloh and Yung posed as open problem how to do this without a trusted center.

In this paper, we generalize Cohen’s privacy concern in the context of yes/no voting. We allow multiple candidates or write-ins and multi-seat elections in which there is more than one seat to be filled by the election. We study how to announce the winner(s), without revealing the tally. We present schemes for such multi-seat elections satisfying the extra privacy constraint. Our schemes are based on proven secure primitives and do not need a trusted center.


voting multi-seat distributed computation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abe, M.: Universally Verifiable Mix-net with Verification Work Independent of the Number of Mix-centers. In: Nyberg, K. (ed.) EUROCRYPT 1998. LNCS, vol. 1403, pp. 437–447. Springer, Heidelberg (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ben-Or, M., Goldwasser, S., Wigderson, A.: Completeness theorems for noncryptographic fault-tolerant distributed computation. In: Proceedings of the twentieth annual ACM Symp. Theory of Computing, STOC, May 2-4, pp. 1–10 (1988)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Benaloh, J.C., Tuinstra, D.: Receipt-free secret-ballot elections. In: Proc. of ACM 26th STOC, pp. 544–553 (1994)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Benaloh, J.C., Yung, M.: Distributing the Power of a Government to Enhance the Privacy of Voters. PODC, pp. 52–62 (1986)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chaum, D.: Untraceable electronic mail, return addresses, and digital pseudonyms. Communications of the ACM, ACM, pp. 84–88 (1981)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cohen, J.D.: Improving privacy in cryptographic elections,
  7. 7.
    Chaum, D.: Zero-knowledge undeniable signatures. In: Eurocrypt 1991, pp. 458–464 (1991)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chaum, D., Crépeau, C., Damgård, I.: Multiparty unconditionally secure protocols. In: Proceedings of the twentieth annual ACM Symp. Theory of Computing, STOC, May 2-4, pp. 11–19 (1988)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cramer, R., Damgard, I., Schoenmakers, B.: Proofs of partial knowledge and simplified design of witness hiding protocols. In: Desmedt, Y.G. (ed.) CRYPTO 1994. LNCS, vol. 839, pp. 174–187. Springer, Heidelberg (1994)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    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)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Desmedt, Y., Frankel, Y.: Threshold cryptosystems. In: Brassard, G. (ed.) CRYPTO 1989. LNCS, vol. 435, pp. 307–315. Springer, Heidelberg (1990)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dolev, D., Dwork, C., Naor, M.: Non-malleable cryptography. In: STOC 1991, pp. 542–552 (1991)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gash, M.: Dean urges Wisconsin to ignore the polls showing him behind. USA Today and The Associated Press (February 9, 2004),
  14. 14.
    Furukawa, J., Miyauchi, H., Mori, K., Obana, S., Sako, K.: An implementation of a universally verifiable electronic voting scheme based on shuffling. In: Blaze, M. (ed.) FC 2002. LNCS, vol. 2357, Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Furukawa, J., Sako, K.: An efficient scheme for proving a shuffle. In: Kilian, J. (ed.) CRYPTO 2001. LNCS, vol. 2139, pp. 368–387. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Goldreich, O., Micali, S., Wigderson, A.: How to play any mental game. In: Proceedings of the Nineteenth annual ACM Symp. Theory of Computing, STOC, May 25-27, pp. 218–229 (1987)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hevia, A., Kiwi, M.A.: Electronic Jury Voting Protocols. In: LATIN 2002, pp. 415–429 (2002)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hirt, M., Sako, K.: Efficient receipt-free voting based homomorphic encryption. In: Preneel, B. (ed.) EUROCRYPT 2000. LNCS, vol. 1807, pp. 539–556. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jakobsson, M.: A practical MIX. In: Nyberg, K. (ed.) EUROCRYPT 1998. LNCS, vol. 1403, pp. 448–461. Springer, Heidelberg (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jakobsson, M., Juels, A.: Mix and Match: Secure Function Evaluation via Ciphertexts. In: Okamoto, T. (ed.) ASIACRYPT 2000. LNCS, vol. 1976, pp. 162–177. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ogata, W., Kurosawa, K., Sako, K., Takatani, K.: Fault Tolerant Anonymous Channel. In: Han, Y., Quing, S. (eds.) ICICS 1997. LNCS, vol. 1334, pp. 440–444. Springer, Heidelberg (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pedersen, T.P.: A threshold cryptosystem without a trusted party. In: Davies, D.W. (ed.) EUROCRYPT 1991. LNCS, vol. 547, pp. 522–526. Springer, Heidelberg (1991)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pfitzmann, B., Pfitzmann, A.: How to break the direct RSA-implementation of MIXes. In: Quisquater, J.-J., Vandewalle, J. (eds.) EUROCRYPT 1989. LNCS, vol. 434, pp. 373–381. Springer, Heidelberg (1990)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Schnorr, C.P.: Efficient Signature Generation for Smart Cards. In: Advances in Cryptology-Proceedings of Crypto 1989, pp. 239–252 (1989)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Schnorr, C.P., Jakobsson, M.: Security of Discrete Log Cryptosystems in the Random Oracle + Generic Model,
  26. 26.
    Shamir, A.: How to Share a Secret. Communications of the ACM 22, 612–613 (1979)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Stinson, D.: Cryptography: Theory and Practice. CRC Press, Boca Raton (1995)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Tsiounis, Y., Yung, M.: On the security of ElGamal based Encryption. In: Imai, H., Zheng, Y. (eds.) PKC 1998. LNCS, vol. 1431, pp. 117–134. Springer, Heidelberg (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yvo Desmedt
    • 1
  • Kaoru Kurosawa
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceUniversity CollegeLondonUK
  2. 2.Ibaraki UniversityJapan

Personalised recommendations