Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2015/1105

Selene: Voting with Transparent Verifiability and Coercion-Mitigation

Peter Y A Ryan andPeter B Roenne and Vincenzo Iovino

Abstract: End-to-end verifiable voting schemes typically involves voters handling an encrypted ballot in order to confirm that their vote is accurately included in the tally. While this may be technically valid, from a public acceptance standpoint is may be problematic: many voters may not really understand the purpose of the encrypted ballot and the various checks that they can perform. In this paper we take a different approach and revisit an old idea: to provide each voter with a private tracking number. Votes are posted on a bulletin board in the clear along with their associated tracking number. This is appealing in that it provides voters with a very simple, intuitive way to verify their vote, in the clear. However, there are obvious drawbacks: we must ensure that no two voters are assigned the same tracker and we need to keep the trackers private.

In this paper, we propose a scheme that addresses both of these problems: we ensure that voters get unique trackers and we close off the coercer's window of opportunity by ensuring that the voters only learn their tracking numbers after votes have been posted. The resulting scheme provides receipt-freeness, and indeed a good level of coercion-resistance while also providesinga more immediately understandable form of verifiability. The cryptographyis under the bonnet as far as the voter is concerned.

The basic scheme still has a problem in some contexts: if the coercer is himself a voter there is a chance that the coerced voter might light on the coercer's tracker, or the coercer simply claims that it is his. We argue that in many contexts this may be an acceptable threat when weighed against the more transparent verification provided by the scheme. Nonetheless, we describe some elaborations of the basic scheme to mitigate such threats.

Category / Keywords: applications / Election Schemes

Date: received 13 Nov 2015

Contact author: peter ryan at uni lu

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Version: 20151114:151506 (All versions of this report)

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