Voting on the internet

Grewal, Gurchetan S (2015). Voting on the internet. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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We address some of the challenges in achieving internet voting for real world elections. One challenge is that home-based computers are likely to be infected by malware, threatening both the integrity and privacy of the vote. Another concern is the possibility that a voter may be coerced to vote in a particular way, for example by a family member or organised crime ring. Moreover, any voting system intended to be used on a large scale should not require complex operations by voters whose purpose is hard to understand.
We introduce a series of novel proposals for internet voting, presented across three parts. First we examine how the problem of malware-infected computers in internet voting could be solved. We propose to use a dedicated hardware token (which is not required to be trustworthy) that helps remove the need to trust the voting computer and the server.
Second we examine how the outcome verification methods provided by internet voting can be made more intuitive. We show how using trial votes help voters achieve more intuitive verifiability.
Third we examine how the tension between verifiability and incoercibility can be reconciled while maintaining the usability of the voting systems. We propose a new property which we call “coercion-evidence” that helps improve usability, reduce trust assumptions, while maintaining the security of the system.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Computer Science
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Subjects: J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering


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