International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Paper: Every Vote Counts: Ensuring Integrity in Large-Scale DRE-based Electronic Voting

Feng Hao
Matthew Nicolas Kreeger
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Abstract: The Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) system commonly uses touch-screen technology to directly record votes. It can provide several benefits in large-scale electronic voting, including usability, accessibility and efficiency. Unfortunately, a lack of tallying integrity in many existing products has largely discredited the entire approach along with its merits. To address this problem, we propose a cryptographic protocol called DRE-i, where i stands for integrity. We take a broad interpretation of the DRE: which includes not only touch-screen machines, as deployed at polling stations, but also remote voting systems conducted over the Internet or mobile phones. In all cases, the system records electronic votes directly, although the implementations are different. Our DRE-i protocol provides a drop-in solution to add integrity assurance to any DRE voting system without altering the voter's intuitive voting experience. It preserves election tallying integrity even if the DRE machine is completely corrupted, although in that case, vote secrecy will be compromised. The protocol requires a medium (e.g., an attached printer, email, or SMS) that the DRE machine can write the commitment data to. In addition, it requires a public bulletin board that everyone can read. Whilst past electronic voting protocols generally assume trusted computing or rely on trustees (i.e., tallying authorities), our proposal depends on neither. The protocol is self-tallying -- that is, anyone can tally the votes, without involving tallying authorities at all.
  title={Every Vote Counts: Ensuring Integrity in Large-Scale DRE-based Electronic Voting},
  booktitle={IACR Eprint archive},
  keywords={Electronic Voting, DRE, internet voting},
  note={ 14845 received 20 Aug 2010, last revised 24 Aug 2010},
  author={Feng Hao and Matthew Nicolas Kreeger},