Software support for software-independent auditing - Short paper

Gabrielle A. Gianelli, Jennifer D. King, Edward W. Felten, William P. Zeller

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Electronic voting machines have the potential to make the election process more efficient, but concerns over their reliability and security could undermine confidence in election results. The most effective way of verifying election results is by auditing physical copies of the ballots that have been verified by the voter. Since manually viewing every ballot is unrealistic, a variety of algorithms can be used to determine which ballots or precincts to audit. These algorithms generate a list of ballots (or precincts) to audit and declare the election outcome correct (with a certain confidence level) if the audited physical ballot matches the corresponding electronic records. Many of these algorithms are complicated and require a computer on which to run. Since this computer is susceptible to the same issues as electronic voting machines, we want to be able to trust the output of these algorithms without trusting the computer on which the auditing algorithms run. We created an online auditing system with three goals in mind. First, we ensure software-independence by publishing a log that allows anyone to verify (either manually or by using a computer) that the audit procedures were followed correctly. This allows the computer running the auditing algorithms to be untrusted. Second, we implemented recently published auditing algorithms that reduce the number of precincts or ballots to be inspected. Third, we provide a user-friendly interface that can be used by ordinary government officials. Additionally, the modular design of our system does not restrict the algorithms that can be used, allowing it to satisfy the variety of legal requirements in different states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections, EVT/WOTE 2009, Held in Conjunction with the 18th USENIX Security Symposium - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Aug 10 2009Aug 11 2009

Conference

Conference2009 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections, EVT/WOTE 2009, Held in Conjunction with the 18th USENIX Security Symposium
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period8/10/098/11/09

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Public Administration

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