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Electronic Government and the Information Systems Perspective

Volume 8650 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 246-260

Helios Verification: To Alleviate, or to Nominate: Is That the Question, or Shall we Have Both?

  • Stephan NeumannAffiliated withSecurity, Usability and Society, CASED, TU Darmstadt
  • , M. Maina OlemboAffiliated withSecurity, Usability and Society, CASED, TU Darmstadt
  • , Karen RenaudAffiliated withSchool of Computing Science, University of Glasgow
  • , Melanie VolkamerAffiliated withSecurity, Usability and Society, CASED, TU Darmstadt

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Abstract

Helios is an end-to-end verifiable remote electronic voting system which has been used for elections in academic contexts. It allows voters to verify that their vote was cast, and included in the final tally, as intended. User studies have shown that voters are unlikely to perform this verification, probably due to the effortful and cumbersome manual steps that are required by the system. To address this challenge, we propose, in this paper, two improvements: the first is to ameliorate the cumbersome nature of the verification process as much as possible. We offer two suggestions for doing this. To accommodate voters who have no interest in verifying, we propose a further improvement: delegation. This will allow voters to nominate a trusted third party to perform the verification on their behalf as and when they cast their vote. Hence no extra effort is required, and we can exploit existing trust in public institutions to provide voters with the assurance that the voting process is indeed honest and above board. In addition to providing end-to-end verifiability in a less effortful manner, we provide stored as cast and tallied as stored verifiability as well, for voters who do not wish to verify their own votes.