In recent years, electronic voting has a deep adoption in many countries. In this project we dive into the verification of presential electronic voting (e-voting) systems, mainly based on direct-recording electronic voting machines (namely DREs). Electronic voting has many advantages:
- Paper-saving. E-voting does not need paper ballots nor envelopes, thus, saving in paper costs, as well as in logistic costs to distribute them nation-widely.
- Easy-of-use. Electronic devices (such as DREs) provides new voting mechanisms, with both audio and video aid, suitable for a wide range of voter profiles (e.g., for illiterate or disabled people, like with visual or dexterity limitations).
- No null votes. E-voting helps on reducing or almost preventing the existence of null votes.
- Fairness. Since there exist no paper ballots, it is tougher to make electoral fraud.
- Quick tally. E-voting mechanisms mainly are focused on emitting electronic votes to significally reduce the recount time, while all security properties are guaranteed.
- Electorate structure. All this is perfectly reachable without modifying the current structure on disctricts, counties and countries.
Nevertheless, in the last years some deception appeared on the use of DREs as voting terminals (mainly in the USA) for cases of electoral fraud. Alternatives like VVPAT came to light to prevent the security problems that DRE suffered from. However, this produces deceit, since there has been a good attempt to provide electronic means of voting, to eventually construct again a paper-based solution.
The main aim of project is to built an independent verification module for DREs on e-voting systems. The motivation behind that is twofold:
- Voters will be able to verify that their vote is cast as expected.
- Electoral officials will have means to audit the verification module.
More importantly, by a responsibility chain, auditing the verification module actually means auditing the whole voting process. Therefore, electoral official will be able to detect any attempt of fraud or system misfunctioning by auditing only the verification module. The advantage of auditing such module is great cost reduction, since only the verification module should be audited, instead of the a costly, complete DRE auditing.