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Human Readable Paper Verification of Prêt à Voter

  • David Lundin
  • Peter Y. A. Ryan
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5283)

Abstract

The Prêt à Voter election scheme provides high assurance of accuracy and secrecy, due to the high degree of transparency and auditability. However, the assurance arguments are subtle and involve some understanding of the role of cryptography. As a result, establishing public understanding and trust in such systems remains a challenge. It is essential that a voting system be not only trustworthy but also widely trusted.

In response to this concern, we propose to add a mechanism to Prêt à Voter to generate a conventional (i.e. human readable) paper audit trail that can be invoked should the outcome of the cryptographic count be called into question. It is hoped that having such a familiar mechanism as a safety net will encourage public confidence. Care has to be taken to ensure that the mechanism does not undermine the carefully crafted integrity and privacy assurances of the original scheme.

We show that, besides providing a confidence building measure, this mechanism brings with it a number of interesting technical features: it allows extra audits of mechanisms that capture and process the votes to be performed. In particular, the mechanism presented here allows direct auditing of ballots that are actually used to cast votes. This is in contrast to previous versions of Prêt à Voter, and indeed other verifiable schemes, that employ a cut-and-choose mechanism. The mechanism proposed also has the benefit of providing a robust counter to the danger of voters undermining the receipt-freeness property by trying to retain the candidate list.

Keywords

Vote System Candidate List Electronic Vote System Paper Ballot Paillier Encryption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Lundin
    • 1
  • Peter Y. A. Ryan
    • 2
  1. 1.University of SurreySurreyUK
  2. 2.University of Newcastle Upon TyneNewcastleUK

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