[EM] untraceable receipts
drernie at mac.com
Fri Nov 14 13:32:02 PST 2003
On Nov 14, 2003, at 12:24 PM, Ken Johnson wrote:
> Message: 7
> Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 09:43:18 -0500
> From: Rob Speer <rspeer at MIT.EDU>
> If you have the option of verifying your ballot, then someone has the
> option of paying you $20 for your verifiable vote receipt. Or
> threatening you if you don't get a receipt and give it to them.
Actually, there's a trivial way to avoid the problem of 'coerced
ballots', even with plaintext receipts. All you need is "easily forged
receipts." You could even have a "sample machine" set up in the same
room, where users could 'test' their voting, and get a fake (but
indistinguishable) receipt. The electronic display (and booth signage)
should clearly indicate that this is a sample, but the receipt should
be indistinguishable from a legitimate one. A coercer would have no
way of telling the difference.
Of course, you could make it even easier and just have all receipts be
done in a commonly-used font on standard letter sized paper, and anyone
could trivially make (or sell) false receipts.
True, that wouldn't stop a gangster who was able to stand in the voting
area and grab your receipt the moment you finished voting, but anyone
with that level of access could just stand in the voting booth with
There's also something to be said for not over-optimizing for the
corner cases. At least in the vast majority of precincts in the U.S.,
active coercion is quite rare. We should design to avoid the most
common problems, as long as there was some way to address the edge
cases with more effort.
Of course, in other countries I imagine it would be quite different.
But I think the more important question is whether we can reach
consensus about -what- information should be available to -whom-. If
we can agree on that social question, the technical problems should be
simple to resolve.
-- Ernie P.
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