[EM] proxies and confidentiality

Paul Kislanko kislanko at airmail.net
Wed Mar 1 12:26:02 PST 2006

> Jobst Heitzig wrote 
> Dear Abd ul-Rahman!
> I wrote:
> >> ... no person X must know whether or not s/he is a proxy for some 
> >> other person Y, and Y must not have a possibility of proving to X 
> >> that X is Y's proxy. 
> >> ... Is this possible without the use of
> >> advanced technology like, say, public key cryptography?
> To which you replied:
> > Yes. It's called secret ballot, and it is standard process.
> Perhaps I'm dumb, but could you please explain how that works?
> Just to be sure, let me state more precisely what I think is 
> a necessary
> degree of secrecy: *Nobody* but me must know whether I voted, what I
> voted, whether I named a proxy, and who the proxy is. I don't see how
> this can be done in an easy way!

This is the fundamental question with delegable-Proxy. In order to meet
Jobst's requirements, there must be a nomination and election (by secret
ballot) of proxy-holders.

Here, at least, there's no question about conforming to any criterion, since
from the voter's standpoint it's not picking a winner, it is 'delegating my
vote to X'. An "election" must be held to allow me to choose 'Choose ONE of
{A, B, C, ...} to cast your vote OR choose "I will cast my own vote".If N
voters chose A, then A's vote counts N+1 times (his own plus the N who said
"whatever A says is fine with me").

Nobody (not even A) knows WHO delegated their vote to A, but how many people
did has been counted.

And since it's more a "selection" than an "election", there should be no
argument about what method to choose. It's only a "pick one of the choices",
so simple counts for each choice are all that is needed. 

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list