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Further Checks on Election Security

Further Checks on Election Security

VoiceVote provides powerful tools that enable the election authority to conduct secure elections and to capture voter intentions accurately. It also provides tools for poll watchers, appropriate law enforcement agencies and the courts to verify the integrity of the election process. The most important of these tools is the generation of redundant sets of cryptographically certified records. Using these records, the following cross checks on election correctness may be performed by the various parties to an election:

Election Authority
  • Integrity checks. Check the digital signature on each ballot cast to ensure its authenticity. Compare the number of votes cast to the number of votes authorized to be cast by the judges of election. Compare this number to the number of applications for ballot. Compare the preliminary results received on election night with the final results tabulated from the voting appliances after they have been returned. In case of a recount, the duplicate, independent, cryptographically certified paper trail permits an exact comparison between paper and electronic ballots.
  • Election Day spot checks. Permit the election authority to ensure that the digital signatures used on Election Day are the same as those use to sign the ballots published on the Internet. Also produce evidence that the software running on each machine has not been tampered with.
  • Summary reports. At the end of the Election Day, VoiceVote produces a digitally signed and therefore unforgeable paper trail summarizing the activity at each polling place, including the vote totals for each candidate and question on the ballot. The election authority compares these summaries with the complete reports produced after the official canvas.
Law Enforcement Authorities
  • Election Day spot checks. Appropriate law enforcement authorities can initiate spot checks and retain copies of the same spot check information available to the election authority and to the election judges. They can also compare the number of votes cast to the number of applications for ballot.
Poll Watchers
  • Election Day spot checks and summary reports. Poll watchers are entitled to receive hard copies during Election Day of these same cryptographically certified reports.
The Courts
  • Access to all records. The courts have access to all of the reports listed above. In addition, voters and the public will have received cryptographically certified information from the VoiceVote system which they may present as evidence to the court.
The twin objectives of an election system should be to conduct secure and accurate elections and to enhance voter confidence in those elections. VoiceVote produces multiple independent audit trails of election activity. Each such audit trail is cryptographically certified and is placed in the hands of voters, election authorities, appropriate law enforcement authorities, poll watchers, or the public. This gives each of these parties the means to detect and effectively challenge defects in the conduct of the election.

Preventing Fraudulent Accusations Against the Voting System

Voting is a compact between voters and government. VoiceVote protects both. By providing multiple means of exposing election errors, the VoiceVote system also protects the election authority and the integrity of the electoral system against false accusations. Accusations of election flaws not supported by hard evidence are not credible. A charge that a particular ballot has been lost or altered is credible if - and only if - the charge is backed up by a paper version of that ballot that has been digitally signed by a VoiceVote voting machine.

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