Secure online voting

What do we mean by secure voting?

This is the subject of a new post on the nvotes blog, found here. Here’s the summary:

  • The term “secure voting” is generally thought to refer to cybersecurity and resistance to cyberattacks.
  • However, cybersecurity is a general property of hardware/software that does not reflect the specific requirements of voting as a political process. The secret ballot is an established and indispensable requirement for voting.
  • Secure voting systems must support privacy as well as integrity; these two requirements stand in opposition.
  • In a system supporting privacy, no one, not even system administrators or other privileged observers can violate the secret ballot.
  • In a system supporting end-to-end verifiability, voters can ensure that their vote was cast, recorded, and counted correctly.
  • Cryptographically secure voting systems employ cryptographic technology to satisfy these two properties simultaneously. The gold standard are end-to-end verifiable voting systems.
  • A secure voting system is an end-to-end verifiable voting system that also employs general computer security principles.

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