Secure remote electronic voting system and cryptographic protocols and computer programs employed

  • US 7,260,552 B2
  • Filed: 06/14/2004
  • Issued: 08/21/2007
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/12/2001
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A secure electronic voting method which uses at least a computer device acting as a vote casting platform, a computer server acting as a polling station designed to receive and accumulate ballots in a digital ballot box during a preset voting period of time, a computer device acting as a tally site for the ballots and a computer device acting as a publication site of the results, said polling station, site and publication site being scattered, or, grouped together in a same computer device, each of said polling station, tally site and publication site being provided with computing means and interconnected to each other, when scattered, through at least a communication network comprising cryptographic processes and protocols in order to guarantee a series of specific safety requirements of an electoral process throughout the execution of the method and the electoral process, said method comprising the following steps:

  • a) providing an electoral board operating said tally site with at least a pair of asymmetric keys and allowing access to a private key or a private component of one of said pair of keys, only to a number of members of the electoral board determined by a given threshold or all of the members of said electoral board according to a cryptographic protocol of secret sharing;

    b) starting a process of acceptance of the votes at the polling station;

    c) each voter casting a vote electronically through a set of programs acting as a voter agent and using at least one vote casting platform, the vote casting step comprising sub-steps of;

    the voter making a voter choice,the voter generating a unique ballot identifier that is a pseudo random number to identify each vote cast without probable repetitions thereby identifying each of the vote by means of selecting a value for the unique ballot identifier within a predetermined range,the voter obtaining a voting receipt which provides validity at least to said unique ballot identifier for said electoral process and which verifies the results of the voting without disclosing content of the voter choice,the voter constructing a digital envelope protecting voter'"'"'s privacy by using a public component of said at least one pair of asymmetric keys of the electoral board, said digital envelope containing at least the voter choice,after or before said sub-steps, carrying out a voter authentication proof, and generating a proof of delivery of said digital envelope in the polling station which is transmitted to the voter agent as a voting voucher of having cast the vote for each voter, fully separate from non-coded voter choice;

    d) ending said process of ballots acceptance at said polling station;

    e) the members of the electoral board collaborating so that they have access to said at least one pair of asymmetric keys including the private key or said private component and using said private component to have access to the content of the digital envelope; and

    f) counting and tabulating the voter choice of each voter and publishing the results at the publication site and allowing said voter to verify said results by using said voting receipt without disclosing the voter choice through accessing the results published on the publication site, which contain the voter'"'"'s unique ballot identifier, carrying out a search of the unique ballot identifier and allowing the voter to file a claim supported on said voting receipt and said voting voucher in the event of lack of the unique ballot identifier in the results published, without disclosing the voter choice.

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