What proof do we prefer? Variants of verifiability in voting


Pieters, W. (2006) What proof do we prefer? Variants of verifiability in voting. In: Workshop on Electronic Voting and e-Government in the UK, 27-28 Feb 2006, Edinburgh, UK (pp. pp. 33-39).

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Abstract:In this paper, we discuss one particular feature of Internet
voting, verifiability, against the background of scientific
literature and experiments in the Netherlands. In order
to conceptually clarify what verifiability is about, we distinguish
classical verifiability from constructive veriability in
both individual and universal verification. In classical individual
verifiability, a proof that a vote has been counted can
be given without revealing the vote. In constructive individual
verifiability, a proof is only accepted if the witness (i.e.
the vote) can be reconstructed. Analogous concepts are de-
fined for universal veriability of the tally. The RIES system
used in the Netherlands establishes constructive individual
verifiability and constructive universal verifiability,
whereas many advanced cryptographic systems described
in the scientific literature establish classical individual
verifiability and classical universal verifiability.
If systems with a particular kind of verifiability continue
to be used successfully in practice, this may influence the
way in which people are involved in elections, and their image
of democracy. Thus, the choice for a particular kind
of verifiability in an experiment may have political consequences.
We recommend making a well-informed democratic
choice for the way in which both individual and universal
verifiability should be realised in Internet voting, in
order to avoid these unconscious political side-effects of the
technology used. The safest choice in this respect, which
maintains most properties of current elections, is classical
individual verifiability combined with constructive universal
verifiability. We would like to encourage discussion
about the feasibility of this direction in scientific research.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
Research Group:
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/65114
Official URL:http://www.nesc.ac.uk/action/esi/contribution.cfm?Title=639
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