Electronic Voting Week 11 March 29, 31 History of Voting


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Electronic Voting

  • Week 11 - March 29, 31

History of Voting

  • “Ballots” from Italian ballotta, meaning “little ball”
  • Ancient: clash of spears, balls in urns, division by groups, wooden tickets (tabellæ)
  • American colonies: voting aloud to public official
  • 1857: Australia introduces secret paper ballot
  • 1888: Australian ballot introduced in U.S. (KY, MA)
  • 1892: Mechanical lever machine to “protect mechanically the voter from rascaldom”
  • 1960s: Punched cards
  • 1970s: Optical scan
  • 1978: Direct-recording electronic systems
  • 2000: Internet voting in primaries
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Voting Jurisdictions

  • Voting in the U.S. is conducted by the states
    • 50 states + DC + territories
    • Supervised generally by Secretaries of State
    • Delegated to 3170 counties
  • ~10,000 voting jurisdictions (cities, school boards, …)
  • ~200,000 precincts (avg. 60-70 per county)
  • > 1,400,000 poll workers (avg. 7/precinct, 440/cty)
  • 150 million registered voters, 105 million actually vote
  • Federal government has very little power over elections
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS
  • PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania Voting Methods 2004

  • Optical
  • Punch Card
  • Lever
  • DRE
  • Paper
  • Mixed
  • N/A
  • SOURCE: ELECTIONLINE.ORG
  • ALLEGHENY
  • COUNTY

Allegheny County

  • CITY OF
  • PITTSBURGH
  • 5th Ave.
  • (Precincts)
  • Pittsburgh East End Wards and Precincts
  • 14th City Ward
  • 5th Ave.
  • Pittsburgh East End Political Districts
  • 8th City Council District
  • Pittsburgh East End Political Districts
  • 11th County Council District
  • Pittsburgh East End Political Districts
  • 23rd Pennsylvania House District
  • Pittsburgh East End Political Districts
  • 43rd Pennsylvania Senate District
  • Pittsburgh East End Political Districts
  • 43rd Senate
  • 23rd House
  • 8th City Council
  • 11th County Council

Functions of a Voting System

  • 1. Authenticate voter
  • 2. Present candidates and issues to voter
  • 3. Capture voter’s preferences
  • 4. Transport preferences to counting location
  • 5. Add up vote totals (tabulation)
  • 6. Publish vote totals (reporting)
  • 7. Provide audit mechanism But: vote must be secret
  • CS ISSUES
  • SECURITY
  • PRIVACY
  • HCI
  • SOFTWARE
  • ENGINEERING
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Authentication

  • In each precinct, only registered voters are allowed to vote
  • Need a registration system before the election
  • Need authentication mechanism on Election Day
    • Only registered voters vote
    • No one can impersonate a voter
    • Each voter can only vote once
  • In this course, we will not discuss voter registration

Voting System Requirements

  • Secrecy
  • Security
  • Accuracy
  • Auditability
  • Accessibility to disabled
  • Protective counter (votes cast since manufacture)
  • Public counter (votes cast today)
  • Conform to state voting provisions (e.g. write-ins)
  • Meet Federal standards

Election tasks

  • Registering voters
  • Validating/authenticating voters
  • Distributing/collecting ballots
  • Tallying votes
  • How are these tasks accomplished in the elections in which you have participated?
    • Government elections
    • Stock holder elections
    • Student government elections
    • Professional society elections

Desirable properties of secret ballot elections

  • Accuracy
  • Privacy
  • Verifiability
  • Invulnerability (Democracy)
  • Convenience
  • Flexibility
  • Mobility
  • Trustworthy

Accuracy

  • Votes cannot be altered
  • Validated votes cannot be eliminated from the final tally
  • Invalid votes will not be counted in the final tally

Privacy

  • Neither election authorities nor anyone else can link any ballot to the voter who cast it
  • No voter can prove that he or she voted in a particular way

Invulnerability (to ballot box stuffing)

  • Only eligible voters can vote
  • Each eligible voter can vote only once
  •  The accuracy property ensures that ballots are not lost or altered after being submitted to the ballot box  The invulnerability property ensures that only valid ballots are accepted into the ballot box

Verifiability

  • Anyone can independently verify that all votes have been counted correctly
    • Weaker version: voters can verify that their own votes were counted correctly
    • Achieved through audit trails and/or cryptographic verification

Convenience

  • Voters can cast their votes quickly, in one session, and with minimal equipment or special skills

Flexibility

  • A variety of ballot question formats are permitted including open ended questions

Mobility

  • There are no restrictions on the location from which a voter can cast a vote

Trustworthy

  • Voter feels that
    • Vote was counted
    • Vote was private
    • Nobody else can vote more than once
    • Nobody can alter others’ votes
  • People believe that the machine works correctly and that its behavior cannot be modified
  • These have to do with perception
  • It is also important that these perceptions are true

Ballot Types

  • Document ballot
    • Paper ballot
    • punched-card
    • optical scan
  • Non-document ballot
    • Lever machine
    • DRE machine

U.S. Voting Methods 2000-2004

  • Punched-card (32%)
  • Optical scan (28%)
  • Lever (16%)
  • DRE (12%)
  • Paper (1%)
  • Indeterminate: (11%)
  • PUNCHED
  • CARD
  • OPTICAL
  • LEVER
  • DRE
  • ?
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • Optical scan (34%)
  • DRE (31%)
  • Lever (14%)
  • Punched-card (14%)
  • Paper (1%)
  • Indeterminate: (6%)
  • DRE
  • CARD
  • OPTICAL
  • LEVER
  • ?
  • 2004

Paper (.6%)

  • Advantages
    • Simple
    • Captures voter intent
    • Not subject to equipment malfunctions
  • Disadvantages
    • Time consuming to count
    • Does not prevent over votes or under votes
    • Many ballot fraud schemes involving paper ballots
      • Ballot box stuffing
      • Ballot invalidation
      • Pre-marked ballots
      • Ballot theft

Paper Ballots

  • 1/27/1925
  • 10/29/1864
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

New York Times, April 4, 1855

  • BALLOT BOXES DESTROYED
  • INJURIES IN RIOTS
  • MORE BALLOTS CAST THAN
  • NAMES ON THE POLL LIST

Florida’s Solution

  • “The ballots shall first be counted, and, if the number of ballots exceeds the number of persons who voted … the ballots shall be placed back into the box, and one of the inspectors shall publicly draw out and destroy unopened as many ballots as are equal to such excess.” F.S. §102.061
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Why Do We Use Voting Machines?

  • To prevent fraud
    • Lever machine (1892) “To protect mechanically the voter from rascaldom”
  • Faster, more accurate counting

Lever Machines (14%)

  • SOURCE: MICHIGAN SOS
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Lever Machines (14%)

  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Lever Machines (14%)

  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Lever Machines

Punched-Card (14%)

Punch Card Voting

  • Will be used by about 14% of the U.S. in 2004
  • Will be used in 69 of 88 counties in Ohio (PA only has 67 counties)
  • Began in the 1960s with the IBM Porta-Punch
  • By 2000 was used in 37% of the U.S., until Florida

Votomatic Punch-Card System

  • VOTING BOOTH
  • BALLOT FRAME
  • VOTING
  • STYLUS
  • BALLOT SEALS
  • VOTING SETUP
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Punched Card (14%)

  • SOURCE: MICHIGAN SOS
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Chads

  • SOURCE: PETER SHEERIN

Hanging Chad

  • SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Palm Beach County “Butterfly” Ballot

  • SOURCE: SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Votomatic Punched-Card System

  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Buchanan Vote by County (Florida, 2000)

  • GRAPH COURTESY OF
  • PROF. GREG ADAMS
  • CARNEGIE MELLON
  • &
  • PROF. CHRIS FASTNOW
  • CHATHAM COLLEGE
  • SOURCE: PROF. GREG ADAMS
  • Broward (Fort Lauderdale)
  • Miami-Dade
  • Hillsborough (Tampa)
  • Pinellas (St. Petersburg-Clearwater)
  • Orange (Orlando)
  • LINEAR FIT WITHOUT PALM BEACH,
  • BROWARD, MIAMI-DADE
  • (PURPLE ANNOTATIONS ADDED)
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Datavote

  • Uses a die to punch a clean hole
  • Employed in a small fraction of punch card counties

Counting Punched Cards

  • SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Recount

  • When a ballot is handled, it can be changed
  • The voter’s intent must be determined
  • Suppose only one of four corners is detached. It is a vote?
  • Dimpled chad, pregnant chad: how to count?
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Punched-Card Problems

  • Can’t see whom you’re voting for
  • Registration of card in ballot frame
  • Must use stylus: no positive feedback on punch
  • Hanging chad: chad that is partially attached to the card
    • How may corners?
    • Hanging chad causes count to differ every time
  • Dimple: chad that is completely attached but shows evidence of an attempt to punch
    • Dimple can turn into a vote on multiple readings
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Mark Sense, Optical Scan (34%)

  • TIMING
  • MARKS
  • START OF BALLOT
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Mark-Sense, Optical Scan (34%)

  • Scanning methods
    • Visible light
    • Infrared
  • Issues:
    • Dark/light marks
    • Some scanners require carbon-based ink
    • Voter intent may not be captured by machine
  • Machine does not see what the human sees
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS
  • SOURCE:
  • SANTA
  • BARBARA
  • COUNTY
  • AN OPTICAL SCAN BALLOT
  • SOURCE:

Precinct Count v. Central Count

  • Precinct count
    • Voter marks ballot, inserts into machine
    • Machine rejects overvoted (and maybe undervoted) ballots
  • Central count
    • Marked ballots are transported to a central location for counting
    • No opportunity for correction of overvotes/undervotes
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

ES&S Model 110 Precinct Tabulator

  • SOURCE: ES&S
  • Voter inserts ballot, receives
  • immediate overvote/undervote
  • notification
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

ES&S Model 650 Central Tabulator

  • SOURCE: ES&S
  • Ballots counted centrally,
  • away from voter.
  • No overvote/undervote
  • notification

Optical Scan Vote Reading

  • Is it reliable?
  • Is voter intent captured?
  • Can it be manipulated?
  • Infrared v. visible light
    • Problem: machine “sees” marks differently from voter
  • What is a valid vote?
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Effect of Humidity

  • SOURCE: DOUG JONES
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Direct-Recording Electronic (31%)

  • DEMO
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Direct-Recording Electronic (31%)

  • SOURCE: SHOUP VOTING SOLUTIONS
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

DRE Systems

  • DRE means “direct recording electronic”
  • There is no document ballot
  • Voter votes by interacting directly with a machine, not by marking a piece of paper
  • “Electronic voting system” means a system in which one or more voting devices are used to permit the registering or recording of votes and in which such votes are computed and tabulated by automatic tabulating equipment. The system shall provide for a permanent physical record of each vote cast. Pa. Elec. Code.
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

A Well-Designed e-Voting Machine

  • READ-ONLY
  • MEMORY
  • READ-ONLY
  • MEMORY
  • RANDOM ACCESS
  • MEMORY
  • WRITE-ONCE
  • MEMORY
  • INTERNAL
  • PAPER
  • TRAIL
  • VOTER CHOICES
  • PROPRIETARY OPERATING SYSTEM
  • (NOT WINDOWS)
  • BALLOT SETUP DATA
  • SOFTWARE FROM A
  • TRUSTED SOURCE
  • (NOT THE VENDOR)
  • 16-HOUR BATTERY
  • NO PORTS, NO CONNECTORS, NO MODEM, NO WIRELESS, NO INTERNET
  • TOTALS REPORT
  • SIGNED BY ELECTION JUDGES
  • WRITE-ONCE MEMORY
  • TO COUNTY BOARD
  • MACHINE SEALED WITH PAPER TRAIL

Advanced (formerly Shoup) WINvote DRE

  • SOURCE: ADVANCED VOTING SOLUTIONS
  • USES WIRELESS NETWORK

Diebold Accu-Vote

  • SOURCE: DIEBOLD
  • ACCU-VOTE OS
  • OPTICAL SCAN
  • ACCU-VOTE TSX
  • TOUCHSCREEN
  • ACCU-VOTE TS
  • TOUCHSCREEN

ES&S iVotronic Touchscreen DRE

  • SOURCE: ES&S
  • 2. MAKE SELECTIONS
  • 1. INSERT PEB
  • 3. REVIEW BALLOT
  • 4. CAST BALLOT

Guardian 1242 (formerly Danaher) Full-face DRE

  • SOURCE: GUARDIAN

Liberty Election Systems Full-face DRE

  • SOURCE: LIBERTY
  • LIBERTYVOTE

Microvote

  • SOURCE: MICROVOTE
  • INFINITY DRE
  • ABSENTEE
  • CARD READER
  • MV-464 DRE

Sequoia Pacific AVC Advantage Full-Face DRE

  • SOURCE: SEQUOIA

Sequoia Pacific Edge DRE

  • SOURCE: SEQUOIA
  • DEMO

Sequoia Pacific Edge DRE

  • SOURCE: SEQUOIA
  • DEMO

Hart eSlate

  • SOURCE: HART INTERCIVIC

Help America Vote Act of 2002

  • Payments to states to replace paper and level machines: $3 billion
  • Establishes Election Assistance Commission
  • Reforms the standards process (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • Provisional voting
  • Statewide registration systems
  • Complaint procedure

The Problem

  • Voters do not trust DRE systems
  • Why?
    • Numerous irregularities around the country
    • “Black box” phenomenon
    • Reports by computer security specialists
    • Warnings by computer scientists
    • Jurisdictions rushing to replace old systems
    • Secretive vendor behavior
    • Public awareness of computer vulnerabilities
    • Newspaper editorials, e.g. New York Times

The Problem

  • Are DRE systems untrustworthy?
    • Some are, some aren’t
  • DRE systems used for 25 years without a single verified incident of tampering
    • Much more difficult to alter computerized records than paper
    • Proprietary operating systems
    • Redundant encrypted memories
    • Testing
  • None of this matters. Perception governs
  • What to do?

Statutory Requirements

  • HAVA Sec. 301(a)(2)(i): “The voting system shall produce a permanent paper record with a manual audit capacity for such system.”
  • Maryland Election Law 9-102(c): “Standards for certification.- The State Board may not certify a voting system unless the State Board determines that:
  • (1) the voting system will: … (vi) be capable of creating a paper record of all votes cast in order that an audit trail is available in the event of a recount”

Paper Trail Proposal

  • Allow each voter to see her choices on paper before casting a vote
  • If the choices are incorrect, they can be corrected
  • The paper becomes the official ballot
  • If there is a discrepancy between the paper record and the computer record, the paper governs
  • Why? Because that’s the one the voter verified

Paper Trail Advantages

  • Demonstrates to the voter that the machine captured her choices correctly
  • Creates a sense of security among voters

Paper Trail Disadvantages

  • No guarantee vote was counted, will ever be counted or paper will be in existence if a recount is ordered
  • Massive paper handling and security problem
  • Slow counting
    • Sacramento experiment 06/04: took an average of 20 minutes per ballot to tabulate and verify results
    • Recounting California would take 450 years
  • Accessibility issues
  • Voter confusion
    • Must remember a lengthy ballot
  • Machines questioned when nothing is wrong
  • Increased demand for recounts
  • Creates doubt among voters (CalTech-MIT Report)
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Voting Problems

  • Machine won’t operate
  • Machine fails during the election
  • Intruder tampers with paper records
    • Stuffing, removal, alteration
  • Machine captures choices incorrectly
  • Intruder alters vote totals after election
  • Machine maliciously or erroneously switches votes
  • NOT ADDRESSED
  • BY PAPER TRAIL
  • SOLVED BY
  • PAPER TRAIL
  • DEPENDS ON
  • PHYSICAL
  • SECURITY OF
  • PAPER TRAIL

AccuPoll Paper Trail

  • SOURCE: ACCU-POLL
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Avante Vote-Trakker Paper Trail

  • NJ021111002026
  • 482961
  • Feb
  • 26, 2001
  • President / Vice President
  • GEORGE WASHINGTON, Andrew JACKSON
  • US Senator
  • John HANCOCK
  • House of Representative
  • Ben Franklin
  • County Clerk
  • John
  • Quincy
  • ADAMS
  • Board of Chosen Freeholders
  • Paul REVERE
  • Board of Chosen Freeholders
  • William H
  • TAFT
  • Board of Chosen Freeholders
  • Theodore ROOSEVELT
  • Public Question 1
  • Yes
  • Public Question 2
  • No
  • Public Question 3
  • Yes
  • Thank you for voting!
  • SOURCE: AVANTE
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Populex

  • 1.
  • Voter gets blank paper ballot, inserts in machine.
  • 2.
  • Voter removes touchscreen stylus.
  • 3.
  • Voter uses stylus to make selections on the touchscreen. NO INTERNAL COMPUTER RECORD OR COUNT, ONLY PAPER OUTPUT.
  • 4.
  • When voter is finished, machine prints a bar code and corresponding “punch” numbers which contain the voter’s selections on the paper ballot.
  • 5.
  • Voter verifies the ballot in privacy using a computerized read station. The voter then submits the ballot to an election judge to be counted.
  • COUNTING IS BY BAR CODE.
  • SOURCE: POPULEX

Voter Verifiability

  • Having each voter be able to verify that
    • her vote was understood by the machine
    • her vote was counted by the machine
    • her vote was counted as part of the final tally
    • no unauthorized votes were counted
  • Paper trails provide (1), but not (2), (3) or (4)
  • Systems exist that provide all four

Evaluating information sources

  • Don’t believe everything you read!
  • News sources are usually a reporter's interpretation of what someone else did
  • Conference and journal papers are first hand reports of research studies that have been peer reviewed
    • but journals usually have more review than conferences
  • Technical reports are usually first hand reports of research studies that have not been peer reviewed (yet)
    • Look for subsequent conference or journal publications
  • Web sites and books are anything goes, but books at least have an editor (usually)
  • When possible, cite research results and technical information from peer reviewed sources
  • Research and Communication Skills

Organizing a research paper

  • Research and Communication Skills
  • Decide up front what the point of your paper is and stay focused as you write
  • Once you have decided on the main point, pick a title
  • Start with an outline
  • Use multiple levels of headings (usually 2 or 3)
  • Don’t ramble!

Typical paper organization

  • Research and Communication Skills
  • Abstract
    • Short summary of paper
  • Introduction
    • Motivation (why this work is interesting/important, not your personal motivation)
  • Background and related work
    • Sometimes part of introduction, sometimes two sections
  • Methods
    • What you did
    • In a systems paper you may have system design and evaluation sections instead
  • Results
    • What you found out
  • Discussion
    • Also called Conclusion or Conclusions
    • May include conclusions, future work, discussion of implications,etc.
  • References
  • Appendix
    • Stuff not essential to understanding the paper, but useful, especially to those trying to reproduce your results - data tables, proofs, survey forms, etc.
  • These sections may be different in your papers

Road map

  • Research and Communication Skills
  • Papers longer than a few pages should have a “road map” so readers know where you are going
  • Road map usually comes at the end of the introduction
  • Tell them what you are going to say in the roadmap, say it, (then tell them what you said in the conclusions)
  • Examples
    • In the next section I introduce X and discuss related work. In Section 3 I describe my research methodology. In Section 4 I present results. In Section 5 I present conclusions and possible directions for future work.
    • Waldman et al, 2001: “This article presents an architecture for robust Web publishing systems. We describe nine design goals for such systems, review several existing systems, and take an in-depth look at Publius, a system that meets these design goals.”

Use topic sentences

  • Research and Communication Skills
  • (Almost) every paragraph should have a topic sentence
    • Usually the first sentence
    • Sometimes the last sentence
    • Topic sentence gives the main point of the paragraph
  • First paragraph of each section and subsection should give the main point of that section
  • Examples from Waldman et al, 2001
    • In this section we attempt to abstract the particular implementation details and describe the underlying components and architecture of a censorship-resistant system.
    • Anonymous publications have been used to help bring about change throughout history.

Avoid unsubstantiated claims

  • Research and Communication Skills
  • Provide evidence for every claim you make
    • Related work
    • Results of your own experiments
  • Conclusions should not come as a surprise
    • Analysis of related work, experimental results, etc. should support your conclusions
    • Conclusions should summarize, highlight, show relationships, raise questions for future work
    • Don’t introduce new ideas in discussion or conclusion section (other than ideas for related work)
    • Don’t reach conclusions not supported by the rest of your paper

Electronic Voting in 2004

  • From the evoting viewpoint, the 2004 election was not very interesting
  • 1444 reports to the Election Incident Reporting System
  • Reports fell into three categories:
    • Fantasies (allegations of fraud with no evidence)
    • Misunderstandings (truthful but misinterpreted allegations)
    • Genuine problems
  • Problems exist that were not reported, e.g. voter privacy problems
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Reported Problems

  • Machine unreliability
  • Changed votes
  • Lost votes
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Carteret County, NC

  • UniLect Patriot DRE machine
  • Used since 1996
  • Software: Intellect 2.49; Firmware: 2.54
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

UniLect Patriot

  • SOURCE: UNILECT
  • VOTING MACHINE
  • BALLOT SETUP UNIT
  • PRECINCT CONTROLLER

Carteret County, NC

  • Alleged by manufacturer to have a capacity of 10,500 ballots
  • Used in Carteret County for early voting
  • Real capacity was only 3,005
  • But 7,537 people voted early
  • Machine produces a warning when full, but does not prevent voting
  • 4,532 votes were permanently lost

Carteret County, NC

  • What happened?
  • Machine had redundant ballot storage in machine and on memory pack
  • But capacity was exceeded
  • Many fixes available
    • Don’t allow voting when machine is full!
    • Increase capacity so it is huge
    • Paper trail would have solved the problem
  • No FEC Standards covering capacity
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Craven County, NC

  • Election Systems & Software DRE machine
  • Hardware: Votronic Model 1
  • Software: Unity 2.2
  • Firmware: 5.28
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Craven County, NC

  • First election night tally showed 11,283 more votes for President than the 40,534 people first thought to have voted in the county
  • Some precincts were counted twice
  • Found by a reporter on Nov. 3
  • One race was affected: County Board of Commissioners District 5 seat (1067-944)
  • Problem would have been discovered in the canvass
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Franklin County, OH

  • Columbus, OH
  • Danaher Controls (Danaher Guardian) DRE
  • Model: ELECTronic 1242
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Franklin County, OH

  • A computer error with a voting machine cartridge gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes.
  • Unofficial results gave Bush 4,258 votes to Kerry's 260 votes in Precinct 1B. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct.
  • Calls were received Thursday from people who saw the error when reading the list of poll results on the election board's Web site.
  • After Precinct 1B closed, a cartridge from one of three voting machines at the polling place generated a faulty number at a computerized reading station.
  • The reader also recorded zero votes in a county commissioner race.
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Franklin County, OH

  • County elections director said the error would have been discovered when the official canvass for the election is performed later this month.
  • The cartridge was retested Thursday and there were no problems. He couldn't explain why the computer reader malfunctioned.
  • Workers checked the cartridge against memory banks in the voting machine Thursday and each showed that 115 people voted for Bush on that machine. With the other machines, the total for Bush in the precinct added up to 365 votes.
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Orlean Parish, LA

  • New Orleans
  • Sequoia Voting Systems, Inc
  • Model: AVC Advantage
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Orleans Parish, LA

  • Sequoia machines failed to boot up on election day and local election officials had no backup plan. EFF attorneys filed a complaint in Civil District Court attempting to force election officials in the Parish of New Orleans to keep polls open late. The NAACP also filed a complaint urging polls to remain open late to accommodate disenfranchised voters.
  • The machines that failed in New Orleans were older Sequoia AVC Edge machines and 80 incidents of failure were recorded across a number of precincts.
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Boulder County, CO

  • Hart Intercivic Optical Scan, Precinct-Based
  • Model: BallotNow
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Boulder County, CO

  • A printing error that distorted bar codes on paper ballots is being blamed for delays that made this one of the last counties in the nation to report election results.
  • The county clerk's office and officials at a Denver printing company are examining flaws in thousands of ballots that slowed the vote count to a crawl.
  • County Clerk Linda Salas said Monday the bad ballots were distributed at random, cropping up in some precincts, but not in others. The exact number of bad ballots is still unknown, Salas said.
  • Scanners rejected ballots with the bad bar codes, requiring election judges to tally those votes race by race.
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Boulder County, CO

  • Voting equipment was tested before the election. But the printing error occurred only on actual ballots that went to voters, not the test ballots, Salas said.
  • Adding to the delays were attempts to figure out why the scanners were rejecting some ballots. Technicians from Hart Intercivic, which makes the scanners, and Kodak, which makes the lenses, examined the machines before the bar code error - which was not visible to the naked eye - was caught, Salas said.
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Thurston County, WA

  • Election Systems & Software punched card system
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Thurston County, WA

  • Elections staff recounted an estimated 81,000 ballots first tallied Election Day after learning that computer software wasn't set up properly for the first count.
  • No errors were caused in tabulating the ballots the first time, Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman said.
  • The mistake did make it impossible to know exactly how many poll-site ballots were cast in each precinct of the county. A dozen staff members worked into the evening, recounting the ballots after properly setting software on the machines. They needed the data as part of their routine effort to confirm that machine-vote totals equal the totals in poll books
  • An "F2 key" was not punched when elections workers set up the vote-counting machines prior to Tuesday's election, Wyman said.
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Paper Trail Problems

  • Clark County, NV (Las Vegas) + Reno
  • 5 machines at a Reno polling place malfunctioned at the same time due to a failure to change paper. The problem backed up lines and caused the site to stay open until about 10 p.m., three hours past closing.
  • In Reno, at least two voters complained that their votes were erroneously recorded. Machines, which resemble ATMs or computers, began to work again after they were shut down and restarted.
  • Two machines malfunctioned at separate polling places in Las Vegas.
  • Audits of random machines to be completed by all 17 Nevada counties by Tuesday.
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Electronic voting

  • Poll site voting, no networking
    • Already in use today in the form of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines
  • Poll site voting via networked voting machines
  • Poll site voting via networked PCs
  • Kiosk voting - voting via networked PCs or voting machines at kiosks, not necessarily at traditional polling places
  • Vote from home (or anywhere else)

Enthusiasm for evoting growing

  • Despite increasing realization of problems
  • Technology solves all sorts of other problems, why not voting?
  • People like the vision of voting in their PJs
  • Belief that evoting will increase voter turnout

Internet Voting

  • Where?
    • Polling place
    • Kiosks
    • Home
    • Anywhere
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Internet Voting Benefits

  • Convenience
    • Accessibility in all weather, all ages
    • Vote anywhere, maybe even from cellphone
    • Availability of candidate information
  • Maybe lower operating cost (maybe not)
    • if regular polling places are eliminated
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Internet Voting Risks

  • Digital divide
    • People without Internet access
    • People without computer skills
  • Security, trust
  • Casual environment
  • Open to the world
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Internet Voting Security Risks

  • Bugs
  • Backdoors to manipulation
  • Malicious code
  • COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf Software), e.g. Windows, may contain exploits
  • Insider attacks
    • Compromising results
    • Compromising privacy
  • Client attacks
    • Operator (for Internet cafes)
    • Worms, viruses, ActiveX, spyware
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Internet Voting Security Risks

  • Denial of Service
    • DDOS attacks on server
    • Selective disenfranchisement
  • Spoof websites
    • Fake “official” site – captures voting credentials, issues fake acknowledgement, then casts real vote differently
  • Promotion of coercion
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Gauging election risks and threats

  • Risks and threats vary depending on:
    • Type of election (public vs. private)
    • Consequences of a successful attack
    • Value of election outcome to potential adversaries
    • Expertise, skill & resources needed to disrupt
    • Level of motivation of potential attackers
    • Amount of disruption needed to sway the election or call its outcome into doubt
    • Consequences of a perception of unfair outcome

Internet voting in public elections

  • Social issues:
    • Vote coercion
    • Vote sale
    • Vote solicitation (click here to vote, banner ads)
  • Technical issues:
    • Securing the platform
    • Securing the communications channel
    • Assuring availability of the network
    • Registration issues, one vote per person, no dead voters
    • Authentication in each direction
    • Maintaining equitable costs (no poll tax, e.g. smartcard reader)

Can cryptography help?

  • Yes – using “mix-nets” (Chaum) and “voter-verified secret ballots” (Chaum; Neff)
  • Official ballot is electronic not paper.
  • Ballot is encrypted version of choices.
  • Ballots posted on public bulletin board.
  • Voter gets paper “receipt” so she can:
    • Ensure that her ballot is properly posted
    • Detect voting machine error or fraud
  • SOURCE: RON RIVEST
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Voter needs evidence

  • That her vote is “cast as intended”:
  • That her ballot is indeed encryption of her choices, and what her ballot is.
    • This is extremely challenging, since
        • She can’t compute much herself
        • She can’t take away anything that would allow her to prove how she voted
  • So: she takes away evidence that allows her (as she exits polling site) to detect whether cheating occurred, and receipt to prove what her ballot is.
  • SOURCE: RON RIVEST
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

Everyone needs evidence

  • That votes are “counted as cast”:
  • That mix-servers (“mixes”) properly permute and re-encrypt ballots.
    • This is challenging, since
      • Mixes cannot reveal the permutation they applied to ballots
  • That trustees properly decrypt the permuted ballots
    • This is relatively straightforward, using known techniques.
  • This is “universal verifiability”
  • SOURCE: RON RIVEST
  • 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING FALL 2004 COPYRIGHT © 2004 MICHAEL I. SHAMOS

A Simplistic Voting Protocol

  • Voter’s
  • Private Key
  • Tallier’s
  • Public Key
  • Voter’s
  • Public Key
  • BALLOT
  • Tallier’s
  • Private Key
  • Voter
  • Tallier
  • Validator
  • Tallier and validator can collude to violate privacy
  • BALLOT

Sensus

  • A design and prototype implementation of an electronic voting system
  • Based on Fujioka, Okamoto, Ohta (FOO) protocol
  • Implemented in C and Perl on a Unix system
  • This is one example of the many electronic voting protocols
  • References
    • Fujioka, A, Okamoto, T., and Ohta, K. A practical secret voting scheme for large scale elections. In Advances in Cryptology - AUSCRYPT '92, Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 1993, pp. 244-251.
    • Cranor, L. and Cytron, R. Sensus: A Security-Conscious Electronic Polling System for the Internet. Proceedings of the Hawai`i International Conference on System Sciences, January 7-10, 1997, Wailea, Hawai`i, USA. http://lorrie.cranor.org/pubs/hicss/

Blind Signatures

  • Allow someone to sign a document without knowing what they are signing
  • Like signing the outside of an envelope with carbon paper and a document inside

Blind Signatures

  • All arithmetic is mod n
  • Blinding (performed by voter):
    • choose a random blinding factor r
    • compute and present for signing: m x re where m is the message, e = encryption (public) key
  • Signing (performed by validator):
    • compute ( m x re )d d = decryption (private) key
    • this is equal to r x md
  • Unblinding (performed by voter):
    • compute r x md /r = md

The Sensus Polling Protocol

  • Pollster - the user’s agent - trusted by user
  • Validator - validates ballots (without seeing content of ballots)
  • Tallier - counts validated ballots and reports results (without knowing which voter voted which ballot)
  • Registrar - registers voters

The Pollster prepares the ballot

  • Presents ballot questions to user and records answers
  • Generates key pair and seals ballot
  • Blinds sealed ballot
  • Signs blinded, sealed ballot

The Sensus Polling Protocol

  • Validator
  • Pollster
  • Tallier
  • blinded, sealed ballot
  • ID number
  • signature
  • 1

The Sensus Polling Protocol

  • Validator
  • Pollster
  • Tallier
  • 1
  • signed, blinded, sealed ballot
  • 2

The Sensus Polling Protocol

  • Validator
  • Pollster
  • Tallier
  • 1
  • 2
  • sealed ballot, signed by validator
  • 3

The Sensus Polling Protocol

  • Validator
  • Pollster
  • Tallier
  • 1
  • 3
  • 2
  • sealed ballot, signed by tallier
  • receipt #
  • 4

The Sensus Polling Protocol

  • Validator
  • Pollster
  • Tallier
  • 1
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • receipt #
  • key to unseal ballot
  • 5

The Sensus Polling Protocol

  • Validator
  • Pollster
  • Tallier
  • 1
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 5

Sensus assumptions

  • Communication occurs over an anonymous channel
  • Machines (along with secrets on them) are secure (including users’ machines!)
  • Messages are not likely to arrive at validator and tallier in the same order
  • Strong encryption
  • Election is not disrupted due to denial of service attacks, power outages, etc.
  • Can we count on these assumptions to be true?

Even if these assumptions hold

  • If voters abstain, validator may submit ballots for them
    • These invalid ballots may be detected, but not corrected
  • Voters can prove how they voted (and sell their votes)
  • Only weak verifiability (voters can verify their votes but not third-party)

Homework 7 discussion

  • ApplyYourself.com
    • Hackers?
    • Ethical?
    • Rejected?


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