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Human readable paper verification of prêt à voter

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Ryan


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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. © 2008 Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lundin D, Ryan PYA

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Computer Security - ESORICS 2008

Year of Conference: 2008

Pages: 379-395

ISSN: 978-3-540-88312-8

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-88313-5-25

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)

ISBN: 3540883126