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Scientists in Greece Design Cryptographic E-Voting Platform

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A representation of e-voting.

Researchers in Greece say they have designed the world's first encrypted electronic voting system in which voters can confirm their votes have gone to the intended candidate.

Credit: Feng Yu/Alamy

Researchers in Greece report the design of what they call the world's first encrypted electronic voting system in which voters can confirm their votes go to the intended candidate.

The process occurs on a distributed, publicly-available digital ballot box called DEMOS, which first generates a series of randomized numbers, with each voter assigned two sets of numbers respectively corresponding to the voter and the voter's preferred candidate. Once the encrypted vote is cast, the data is transmitted to multiple servers, which store the information until the election is over. Election outcomes then are posted on a bulletin board, a publicly accessible repository with all of the election information.

DEMOS developer Bingsheng Zhang says the board "can be potentially implemented using the blockchain technique of Bitcoin."

However, dedicated hackers could still circumvent the DEMOS system, according to University of Athens professor Aggelos Kiayias. He notes encrypted numbers tied to voters and to their candidate must be generated by a "clean" computer that has not already been compromised. Additional security also would have to be deployed to ensure the identification keys are not intercepted and manipulated when they are transferred from the computer to the voter and back.

From The Wall Street Journal
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Gunnar Wolf

Sadly, and strange as it might seem, being able to verify your vote was counted correctly is anathema for a secure e-voting platform. If the votes can be verified, voters can be coerced (by force or by buying their votes against evidence). A strong security property of paper ballots is that everybody can see what goes in the booth and validate it was kept secure during the whole process, but it's impossible to link each vote with the person emitting it.

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