Verifying Table-Based Elections

David Basin, Jannik Dreier, Sofia Giampietro, Sasa Radomirovic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

Verifiability is a key requirement for electronic voting. However, the use of cryptographic techniques to achieve it usually requires specialist knowledge to understand; hence voters cannot easily assess the validity of such arguments themselves. To address this, solutions have been proposed using simple tables and checks, which require only simple verification steps with almost no cryptography.

This simplicity comes at a cost: numerous verification checks must be made on the tables to ensure their correctness, raising the question whether the success of all the small verification steps entails the overall goal of end-to-end verifiability while preserving vote secrecy. Do the final results reflect the voters' will? Moreover, do the verification steps leak information about the voters' choices?

In this paper, we provide mathematical foundations and an associated methodology for defining and proving verifiability and voter privacy for table-based election protocols. We apply them to three case studies: the Eperio protocol, Scantegrity, and Chaum's Random-Sample Election protocol. Our methodology helps us, in all three cases, identify previously unknown problems that allow an election authority to cheat and modify the election outcome. Furthermore, it helps us formulate and verify the corrected versions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCCS '21: Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages2632–2652
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781450384544
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021
Event28th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security 2021 - Virtual, Seoul, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
Duration: 15 Nov 202119 Nov 2021

Conference

Conference28th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security 2021
Abbreviated titleACM CCS 2021
Country/TerritoryKorea, Democratic People's Republic of
CitySeoul
Period15/11/2119/11/21

Keywords

  • elections
  • protocol verification
  • verifiability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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