"Retro-control" method from Zullin Aleksandr

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Nov 13 2007 - 09:48:13 CST

Submitted on 2007 Nov 12 - 9:34am
Submitted by anonymous user: []

Submitted values are:
  Full Name: Zulin Aleksandr
  Email Address: snl@barnaul.ru
  Phone: +7(3852)248016
Dear Open Voting Consortium,
We would like to present a new method of voting called "Retro-control". This
is the first method which combines full transparency with complete anonymity
guaranteed and prevents from selling and buying one's votes.

Below is an overview of the method, while details could be found in a patent
description, patent application # PCT /RU2007 /000500. (see

Provided, there is an electronic voting system we propose to equip it with a
printing device and adjust the software so that the screen before one casts
a vote shows his/her unique identity code which is on the screen until the
voter finishes his/her voting session.

After that the screen shows the list of nominees for the voter to choose
from and vote for.

The printing device then prints out a document for the voter that we call
"voter certificate" or simply "certificate". The differences between a
paper and a certificate are outlines below:
a) A voter keeps a certificate with himself/herself instead of casting
it into a ballot box.
b) To the right from nominee names printing devise inserts the identity
codes of various voters into each line of the certificate but not into the
only one. The line which is corresponding to the voter choice is inserted
with a code visible on the screen. The rest of lines are inserted with
codes of the real voters who took their votes earlier.

For example, if a voter is coded 2201 with his/her vote for the Republican
Party, his/her certificate would look as follows (in case a voter is unique
within a ballot district):

Democratic Party 0112
Republican Party 2201
Socialistic Party 0943
Green Party 1118

Numbers 0112, 0943 and 1118 are codes of unknown voters who voted for
democratic, socialistic and green party accordingly. Once the voter is given
certificate, he/she ascertains that his/her code 2201, which has been shown
on screen, is the same as that in the second line of the certificate
for Republican Party. After that the code disappears from the screen and a
voter leaves the ballot station with certificate.

It is then proposed to publish the returns in codes like in above example so
that a voter using his/her certificate could control both his/her vote and
those of other unknown voters whose codes are shown in the certificates.
Each discrepancy should be document supported, corrected and, perhaps,
repaid for
to the voter that found a discrepancy. Showing the certificate with
discrepancies to any authority, a voter does not disclose his/her vote,
because one
can not prove that the identity code in the line with discrepancy belongs to

In this way, a voter has a document to be able to question the returns, if
the data in his/her certificate are not completely the same as in officially
published code returns. Moreover, one can not sell and buy votes using this
kind of certificate. It is impossible to define with this document the
of the voter, because only original recipient knows his/her identity code,
therefore, the seller cannot prove that he/she voted as required by the
thus, making no sense in the deal.

Our method is an opportunity to control one's own vote for those who did not
take a vote. For this purpose we propose to publish the list of voters who
has taken their votes with so arrangement by address that it guarantees
anonymity for voters who has taken and has not taken theirs votes. If the
of the voters in one apartment is nil, or it is equal to the quantity of the
voters so the information on this address can not be published separately.
can demonstrate the choice of voters who took the vote or who didn't take.
This address should be combined in the list with neighbor apartment. If the
combined sum after two apartments is equal neither to nil nor the total
quantity of the voters it can't be defined who personally took the vote and
didn't. There can be many combinations of addresses. It can be the quantity
of the voters within the story or within the entire house or few houses. It
is easier for the neighbors to exchange the information and check the
authenticity of the address list of the voter quantity.

Because the total quantity of the voters must be equal to the quantity of
the voters in the list of code returns then it's enough to make sure after
returns publication. Nobody can accuse in falsification of the factious
votes neither election committee nor electronic system designers.

If there is no centralized electronic system of the voting we propose to
create simplex electronic system of the local scale when using
It consists of usual computers with printing devise. It is desirable to
combine the computers in the Local Network but it is enough to use the
for the computer exchange. To follow the principle of secret ballot the
monitor of the computer should be covered with pyramid-shaped housing. There
is an
eyehole on the top of the pyramid and it is the voter who may see the screen
picture. The voter can make a choice with the help of the electronic
devise for example the mouse. The rest procedure doesn't differ from the one
described above.

For the voting at home and at the remote locations it is advisable to use
portable computers instead of ballot box. The screen of such computer also
should be hidden from the extraneous eyes with curtains for example. If
there is a portable printing devise so the certificate is printed
If there is no devise the certificate should be filled in by the present
member of the election committee manually. In this case the voter should
his/her code and press the button. After it the code should be erased and
one can see the image of his/her certificate with the lines filled in. Then
screen can be seen and all codes are written down in the certificate

If there is no possibility to use the computers at polling place (it is a
very rare situation nowadays) we propose to use so called voting counter. It
the isolate cabin with the cashier - one of the members of the committee
inside. The voting counter is equipped with the observation eyehole. It is
the voter who can see from outside the process of voting inside. Instead of
the computer mouse the choice is made with the pointing devise for example
fescue available outside the voting counter. The cashier acts as a computer
algorism. He defines the code of the voter at random; cumulates code
fills in the certificates manually and gives this paper thru the extending

The results of the voting can be published at the Internet and be sent thru
mobile telecommunication system, by means of sms - short message service.
it is easy for the voter to get the lists of code returns and addresses of
the voters from the election district by regular mail as a newspaper.
Besides, local press contains the election returns tables of each district;
the regional press - the election returns tables of all districts; central
press - the election return tables of all region (province). So it is easy
to check if the returns in tables were counted wrong. Thus, each voter can
three newspapers (local, central and regional) after the election to make
sure if:
1) the district returns were included correctly into central ones;
2) the central returns were included correctly into regional ones;
3) the regional returns were included correctly into general returns.
So each voter can control every stage of elections.

As a conclusion let's get back to the advantages of our method.
1. As we proved before the system of poll is getting more transparent
but the anonymity provides the freedom of choice and the secret ballot
principle. It is advantage of the method. If the voters control the election
returns the possibility of sporadic errors in counting and malicious
falsification of the results are expelled. Whatever small the break between
winners and loser of the elections within the new system people may not
because the loser party has to find honest the victory in even one vote or
to prove the opposite.
2. Besides the practical aspects there are moral and personal ones. The
right and possibility to control your own vote is the development of the
civil rights and freedoms. It brings the moral value to each citizen which
must be developed.
3. Public affair and social significant advantages of the
"Retro-control" system come from the situation when it is impossible to
accuse without
adducing any proof or just to suspect somebody in falsification of the
election returns. It follows that the legitimacy and authority of the person
party elected are getting higher and the social concord is becoming
4. The party or a person elected thru the "Retro-control" method will
be granted the prestige on the international arena and the whole country
be accepted as an advanced country with the democratic elections system.
5. Nowadays many designers of the electronic elections system have to
make their inventions more transparent for control. Sometimes they have to
provide the primary codes of the software. Because when one relies on the
honesty of the designers the scholars believe that the possibility of coup
d'etat exists. However the more transparent the system is the more possible
this system can be exposed to the unauthorized break-in. The "Retro-control"
method solves this problem drastically. When the voters can control their
votes there is no need to control the electronic system organization. The
protection from the outer break-in is the prerogative of the system
designers and they will get the right and responsibility to protect the
system anywise
and to blackout its organization.
6. The proposed system of the view thru the eyehole gives the
possibility to the watchers to control even the fingers movements of the
voter. So the
sharp voter can't make a picture of his/her choice on the cell phone camera
to sell his vote then.

With best regards, the designer of the "Retro-control" method Zulin A.M.
Ul. Soyuza Respublik 17-15
Barnaul, Russia, 656038
Tel: +7 (3852) 248016
e-mail: snl@barnaul.ru (Please write in a theme "RETRO-CONTROL")

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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:22 2007

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