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A Brief History of Brazil’s Electronic Voting System (for the nerds in the room)

#1

JulioHM

JulioHM

I know this is highly controversial topic, but I found myself writing my own blog post about this. The recent 2020 US elections inspired this. So, here it goes me trying not to step on any sensitive toes.



#2

I

Intuit

Would be nice if, at the time of submission, you'd get a receipt with a randomly assigned serial with current date/time on it. That's all it would have is just the serial and current time/date; no other information.

The user could then take that receipt home, go to a govt Board of Elections website and later verify that their vote was not only counted, but counted correctly. (none of the votes flipped)

While voters (depending on state/county) currently have the ability to see whether a ballot was submitted, we have no way to verify that the submission was correctly processed and recorded.

The technical security challenges of this would be minimal; not requiring that critical machines be networked or/and exposed. Data flow from critical to publicly accessible equipment would be one-way and even require a physical shuffling of data, if needed.

Microsoft's ElectionGaurd software claims to check this box; although I don't know the details of how.


#3

JulioHM

JulioHM

Yes, certainly. The voting receipt is a strong point of debate here in Brazil.

It would be nice to have it, but our constitution is very explicit when it states that votes must be kept secret and anonymous at all times. Legally, there cannot be any possibility of tracing a vote back to the person who cast it. Accomplishing that with enough degree of certainty while still providing a receipt is actually quite a challenge.


#4

I

Intuit

I suspect it's a relatively simple challenge.
Our ballots contain no uniquely identifiable info other than serial/scancode. That's it.
Your receipt would have an on-the-fly semi-randomly** generated serial. Current date and time. That's it.
When the serial is (much) later entered online, it reveals a tally and an image of the ballot with the scancode (header/footer) clipped. That's it.
The voter merely checks the tally against the image. Voter might also recognize the uniqueness of their own scribblings.
Just meant to provide more confidence in the process. Obviously this isn't meant to be an audit process. But it may be used as reason to trigger one.

** Entrop may include current year/month/date/hour/minute/second/millisecond and even a raw bitmap of the ballot. The remote chance of collision avoids having to setup a network and database for the purpose of creating and tracking receipts.