Re: beyond open-source: open-audit elections

From: Jerry Lobdill <lobdillj_at_charter_dot_net>
Date: Tue Dec 12 2006 - 10:30:19 CST

Hi Ben,

Welcome to the OVC group.

I am one of the folks here who is into mandatory election
audit design studies. I would be very interested in your work. I
read the Science News article. Since I haven't been following this
area of research, I do have some questions. I'm not sure why
cryptographic voting and open-audit voting are terms that would
describe the same thing. Also, I have two other concerns. The first
is that if the cryptographic scheme is too complex, the average voter
may not think it is transparent. The second is that if the scheme
makes it possible for anyone with a computer, internet access, and
Excel to verify the tallies that's great, but based on our recent
history with voting fraud, I don't think the fraudsters are going to
be intimidated by that fact. What we will need is law that removes
all decision making regarding audits and their sequelae from the
control of politicos. The decision to order a full ballot recount
should be event driven--not discretionary at the call of an authority.

I am definitely interested to learn how your methods would work.

Thanks,

Jerry Lobdill

At 02:00 PM 12/11/2006, you wrote:
>Hi all,
>
>Alan Dechter asked me to participate in this discussion, and I thought I
>would begin by introducing myself. My name is Ben Adida, I'm a
>postdoctoral fellow at Harvard. I received my PhD in computer science
>from MIT, where I worked with Ronald Rivest on secure voting.
>
>A topic of significant interest in recent years is open-audit voting,
>which has typically been called "cryptographic voting," though that
>latter term identified the means rather than the ends. I prefer the term
>"open-audit voting." These protocols achieve true auditing by any
>observer of the entire voting process, from casting to counting.
>
>Proposals like VoteHere's MarkPledge, David Chaum's Punchscan, Peter
>Ryan's Pret-a-Voter, Josh Benaloh's simple verifiable voting, and a few
>others (including work I've done), achieve this level of auditing. Any
>organization or individual can directly verify the election, much like
>the auditing that was done in the early days of our democracy when all
>votes were "show of hands." Except, of course, with the added benefit of
>the secret ballot (which show-of-hands elections obviously don't have.)
>
>For those who haven't seen these proposals, they're extremely powerful:
>the level of public auditability is far greater than current systems,
>with or without a paper trail. In addition, the elections run with
>open-audit technology remain software-independent, as per the TGDC's
>latest requirement: you don't need to trust any piece of software.
>
>So why the lecture? Because I'm interested in finding out whether folks
>working with the Open Voting Consortium are interested in exploring
>open-audit solutions. What are people's thoughts?
>
>(I'm happy to provide in-depth explanations if there's interest, I just
>want to gauge interest first. For those who want to dig in immediately,
>here's a pretty good overview:
>
>http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20061104/bob10.asp
>)
>
>-Ben Adida
>ben@eecs.harvard.edu
>
>
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Received on Sun Dec 31 23:17:10 2006

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