Scantegrity II Municipal Election at Takoma Park: the first E2E Binding Governmental Election with Ballot Privacy

In USENIX Security Symposium, 2010

Richard T. Carback, David Chaum, Jeremy Clark, John Conway, Aleksander Essex, Paul S. Hernson, Travis Mayberry, Stefan Popoveniuc, Ronald L. Rivest, Emily Shen, Alan T. Sherman, and Poorvi L. Vora

Abstract. On November 3, 2009, voters in Takoma Park, Maryland, cast ballots for the mayor and city council members using the Scantegrity II voting system, the first time any end-to-end (E2E) voting system with ballot privacy has been used in a binding governmental election. This case study describes the various efforts that went into the election including the improved design and implementation of the voting system, streamlined procedures, agreements with the city, and assessments of the experiences of voters and poll workers.

The election, with 1728 voters from six wards, involved paper ballots with invisible-ink confirmation codes, instant-runoff voting with write-ins, early and absentee (mail-in) voting, dual language ballots, provisional ballots, privacy sleeves, any-which-way scanning with parallel conventional desktop scanners, end-to-end verifiability based on optional web-based voter verification of votes cast, a full hand recount, thresholded authorities, three independent outside auditors, fully-disclosed software, and exit surveys for voters and pollworkers. Despite some glitches, the use of Scantegrity II was a success, demonstrating that E2E cryptographic voting systems can be effectively used and accepted by the general public.

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