Paper 2022/1562

A Systematization of Voter Registration Security

Jack Cable, Stanford University
Andrés Fábrega, Cornell University
Sunoo Park, Columbia University
Michael A. Specter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Voter registration is an essential part of almost any election process, and its security is a critical component of election security. Yet, despite notable compromises of voter registration systems, relatively little academic work has been devoted to securing voter registration systems, compared to research on other aspects of election security. In this paper, we present a systematic treatment of voter registration system security. We propose the first rigorous definitional framework for voter registration systems, describing the entities and core functionalities inherent in most voter registration systems, the jurisdictional policies that constrain specific implementations, and key security properties. Our definitions are configurable based on jurisdiction-specific parameters and policies. We provide a template for the structured presentation of detailed jurisdictional policy information, via a series of tables, and illustrate its application with detailed case studies of the voter registration systems of three U.S. states and Panama. Throughout our research, with the aim of realism and practical applicability, we consulted current and former U.S. election officials, civil society, and non-profits in the elections space. We conclude with a list of critical questions regarding voter registration security.

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Publication info
voter registration election security
Contact author(s)
andresfg @ cs cornell edu
sunoo @ csail mit edu
2022-11-10: approved
2022-11-09: received
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      author = {Jack Cable and Andrés Fábrega and Sunoo Park and Michael A. Specter},
      title = {A Systematization of Voter Registration Security},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/1562},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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