What do you want in an electronic voting system?

You may be used to filling out your ballot form in the privacy of a voting booth and then dropping it in a sealed ballot box. You hope that this ensures that no-one has been able to see how you voted and that your vote mixes in with all other votes so it is impossible to tell which one is yours. By trusting that the counting procedure works you can be pretty content that your vote is counted - but there is no way for you to check. This is exactly what we want to do in an electronic voting system: give you the power to check that your vote was counted while making sure it stays secret.

Voting over the Internet

Voting over the Internet is inherently unsafe, mainly for the simple reason that we don't know who is standing behind you right now, watching you cast your vote. If a voter is not able to cast the vote in private then the election cannot be said to be secret and free, so voting over the Internet (or per post) is probably not a good idea for general elections. Some elections, for example those in companies and organisations and those arranged by online communities and social networks, do not have quite as high secrecy requirements as political elections generally have. Therefore we are giving you the power to run verifiable elections over the Internet and your members the power to check that their votes are counted and that they are counted correctly.

How do I check that my vote was counted?

When you cast your vote the EasiestElection system gives you a receipt. This does not say in clear text how you voted because this would help someone who either wants to buy your vote or to force you to vote in a particular way. Instead the receipt is a commitment by the system to your vote. After the close of the election you can go to vote.easiestelection.com and follow the instructions to check that your vote has been counted as you intended. If your vote has been changed or lost you will find this out and can use your receipt to prove that the election has been manipulated. There is no need for every single voter to check that her vote is included but if a high proportion of voters do, then the likelihood that any faults will be found out is very, very large.

Who will know how I voted?

When you cast a vote in the EasiestElection system you first interact with a Java Applet. When you have made all your choices and pressed the confirm button the applet forms an encrypted vote. This vote is encrypted under the public key of a set of trusted servers. These are all run by different organisations and only if they all work together can they decrypt your vote and check how you voted. The likelihood that all these different organisations will want to work together to break the secrecy of the election is very, very small. Before the votes are decrypted so that they can be counted they are shuffled a number of times by mixers, breaking the link between your receipt and the plaintext vote. The great thing about these shuffles is that anyone with a little bit of programming skill can check that they have been done correctly.

This means that if you check that your vote is among the ones that go into the shuffle and some people check that the shuffles are done correctly, the whole election is verified. We are therefore not trusting any person, hardware or software with the correctness of the election - it is end-to-end verifiable.

Oh, and no-one other than you will be able to tell how you voted.

Who are behind EasiestElection?

The EasiestElection system has been developed and is supported by David Lundin, a PhD student at the University of Surrey, UK and Johannes Clos, currently a research assistant at the University of Newcastle, UK. The PhD David is working towards is in electronic voting and Johannes is looking specifically at an online version of the Prêt à Voter system. Both have completed Master of Science theses in electronic voting.

Our colleagues and advisors include Professor Peter Ryan (University of Newcastle), Professor Steve Schneider (University of Surrey), Dr James Heather (University of Surrey), Mr Zhe Xia (University of Surrey) and Mr Kieran Leach (University of Newcastle). You will find these names in our list of academic references.

  • BETA BETA BETA

    • Please note that EasiestElection.com is still in a non-functional beta mode. Check back regularly to track our progress.
  • The Easiest Election

    • EasiestElection helps campanies, organisations, online communities and anyone else to run secret, verifiable elections over the Internet. We provide an API which allows you to run the election on your website whilst benefiting from the security of the EasyElection system. In most cases you only need to add a few lines of code to get going!