Eperio: Mitigating Technical Complexity in Cryptographic Election Verification

In USENIX Electronic Voting Technology Workshop/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections (EVT/WOTE), 2010

Aleksander Essex, Jeremy Clark, Urs Hengartner, and Carlisle Adams

Abstract. Cryptographic (or end-to-end) election verification is a promising approach to providing transparent elections in an age of electronic voting technology. In terms of execution time and software complexity however, the technical requirements for conducting a cryptographic election audit can be prohibitive. In an effort to reduce these requirements we present Eperio: a new, provably secure construction for providing a tally that can be efficiently verified using only a small set of primitives. We show how common place utilities, like the use of file encryption, can further simplify the verification process for election auditors. Using Python, verification code can be expressed in 50 lines of code. Compared to other proposed proof verification methods for end-to-end election audits, Eperio lowers the technical requirements in terms of execution time, data download times, and code size. As an interesting alternative, we explain how verification can be implemented using True-Crypt and the built in functions of a spreadsheet, making Eperio the first end-to-end system to not require special purpose verification software.

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