Helios: web-based truly verifiable voting

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quick description of Helios at Microsoft Research Voting Workshop

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Helios: web-based truly verifiable voting

  1. 1. Helios web-based truly verifiable voting Ben Adida Harvard University MSR Voting Technology Workshop 19 March 2010
  2. 2. “Web Based????” - many elections are happening on the web already, whether we like it or not. - online elections are the least auditable of all: you can’t even watch the ballot box. - opportunity for a clear win: improve auditability of elections that will happen online no matter what. - risk: people will think web-based voting is okay for all eelections.
  3. 3. Low-Coercion - web-based elections assume low coercion already. - If the voting public is a subset of the population, there may be inherent limits to coercion. - e.g. university voting
  4. 4. Technical Concepts - Probabilistic Encryption & Threshold Decryption. posting ciphertexts safely on a web site - Homomorphic Tallying. no write-ins, proofs of correct plaintext - Benaloh Challenge. cast or audit, authenticate only upon cast - In-Browser Encryption. plaintext only in user’s browser
  5. 5. "Obama" Encrypted Ballot Alice "AUDIT" "CAST" Decrypted Signed Ballot Encrypted Ballot Alice Alice Encrypted Decrypted Ballot Ballot Signed Encrypted Ballot VERIFICATION Alice http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Barcode-scanner.jpg
  6. 6. Helios System Details - Python & JavaScript logic & crypto - Free/Open-Source stack - Deployed on Google App Engine - Deployed on Apache/Python/PostgreSQL - Customizable authentication, look-and-feel, translations
  7. 7. So, does it work? - Université catholique de Louvain 25,000 eligible voters - 5000 votes University president election Helios 2.0, optimized customized for UCL (French, improved UI) - Princeton University undergraduate government 5000 eligible voters - 1500 votes authentication integration with CAS Helios 3.0a
  8. 8. Université catholique de Louvain [de Marneffe, Pereira, Quisquater] 8
  9. 9. 9
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  11. 11. 11
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  13. 13. most fun tidbit in the first round, the leader was short of winning by 2 votes out of 5000.
  14. 14. most interesting lesson spurious claims are easily countered
  15. 15. Princeton 15
  16. 16. Princeton Winter 2009 Runoff Election, # votes cast per class per hour 80 60 40 2010 2011 2012 2013 20 0 16
  17. 17. most interesting lesson voting is error-prone ; true verifiability can help recover
  18. 18. vote here http://tinyurl.com/mshelios
  19. 19. Open Problems - Java! - additional ways of ensuring that the same booth code is run by all. - giving a choice to voters to do a true interactive proof of the vote they actually cast. - STV? - Deep Issue: is enforced privacy over?
  20. 20. Questions? ben_adida@harvard.edu http://heliosvoting.org/

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