Verifiable Elections and the Public

Recently, Steve Schneider, James Heather, Chris Culnane and Zhe Xia of the Trustworthy Voting Systems Group attended the Dagstuhl seminar titled Verifiable Elections and the Public in Germany. This 5-day event brought together key researchers from a variety of disciplines, ranging from computer scientists, political scientists and legal experts from around the world, to discuss the issues of computer based voting technologies as well as trends in their development.

In general, election systems currently used in the developed world are trusted by the public. But this does not mean that they are trustworthy. Ideally, an election system should not only be secure, i.e. guarantee accuracy of the election result and voter privacy, but also be verifiable by voters so that they can see that their intent has been correctly captured by the system and be convinced that all votes have been properly tallied.

The Department of Computing is currently working on an EPSRC project Trustworthy Voting Systems with aim to introduce new voting technologies as well as implement a system which can be used by the public.