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Pret a Voter with a Human-Readable, Paper Audit Trail

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Ryan



The Pret a Voter election scheme allows voters to confirm that their vote is accurately counted whilst maintaining ballot secrecy. Initial analysis indicates that the scheme is highly trustworthy, 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, there remain challenges regarding public understanding and trust. It is essential that a voting system be not only trustworthy but also widely trusted. In this note, I propose a simple mechanism to generate a conventional 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ryan PYA

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2007

Pages: 15

Print publication date: 01/07/2007

Source Publication Date: July 2007

Report Number: 1038

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne