Re: securing electronic ballots

From: Clay Lenhart <clay_at_lenharts_dot_net>
Date: Mon Nov 24 2003 - 21:56:19 CST

> I know. But the problem with your scheme is that it is in contradiction
> to the Constitution of the United States. I know the founding fathers

Yes, you have made that point before. I disagree with your
interpretation of the Constitution, but that doesn't matter, since I'm
not pushing that scheme. To me, the issue with my scheme was that it
made the evm software less palatable to SOS offices due to the awkward
voting process. Lets come up with another scheme.

> Btw. I recommend you followup on David Chaum's idea that I mentioned in
> my note on meeting Rebecca Mercuri. From a math/crypto perspective it
> seems pretty cool--although I have not read through the math details
> yet. But among other things, Chaum's system allows anonymous
> verification that votes are recorded.

This sounds interesting, but I wasn't able to find it in the archives.
Approximately when was this posted? Can you send me a link to it?

> However, the problem with both Chaum's and Lenhart's systems is that
> voters simply cannot understand them. It's easy for people who DO
> understand the math in crypto to gloss over this point. I believe I can
> explain my protocol to an average voter (if the voter has a little
> patience), to a sufficient degree that she has confidence that her
> anonymity and vote integrity are preserved. If I were to try a similar
> explanation of Chaum's or Lenhart's systems, the best I could do was say
> "A bunch of really complex mathematics happens that you can't
> understand... trust us." Voter confidence ranks, in my mind, at least
> as high as cryptographic strength (obviously, a false confidence is very
> bad... just fooling people about a bad system isn't right either).

I disagree. People trust public/private key crytography, when they do
not understand the mathematics behind it. People trust it, because the
experts say it is very difficult to crack. The users will look to us
and to our critics to trust (or not trust) EVM. Weak security will give
our critics *real* concerns about our software, and ruin the trust that
we may have built.

-Clay
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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:07 2003

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