Towards a Secret Show-of-Hands for Modern Elections

C. Andrew Neff (VoteHere)

The election protocol that optimally facilitates audit of election results is a simple show-of-hands: All election participants have equal opportunity to check, and perhaps dispute, the count. However, ballot secrecy is sacrificed for audit strength, and, of course, the method is completely impractical for modern, large scale elections. Fortunately, new election protocols based on public key cryptography have the potential to offer audit characteristics very similar to a show-of-hands along with strong ballot secrecy. We describe one such protocol and use it to discuss some of the subtle implementation challenges faced by all cryptographic methods.