Chaumian blinding & public voting?

Major Variola (ret) mv at
Sat Nov 1 15:35:56 PST 2003

First, much thanks to  Howie Goodell for his reply.
 (Note that printing stuff on transparencies was proposed
(by Shamir?) some time ago, perhaps for quorum-required info.)

At 09:17 PM 10/31/03 -0600, Neil Johnson wrote:
>On Friday 31 October 2003 12:10 pm, Major Variola (ret) wrote:
>> Is is possible to use blinding (or other protocols) so that all votes

>> are published, you can check that your vote is in there, and you
>> (or anyone) can run the maths and verify the vote?   Without being
>> able to link people to votes without their consent.
>Doing this would allow vote buyers to verify a voter voted the way

Yeah, so?  I've voted from home for a decade.  Nothing stops me from
showing Vinny (Vinny the votebuyer, he's Eve's cousin on Mallory's side)

my ballot before I mail it.  Or registering my cat to vote.  They are
and detectable, that suffices.  [Note to furriners: in the US you don't
"ID" to register or to vote, just a signature, and for that an X

Although I *do* agree with you --resistance to votebuying is a desirable
if you can have it.  (Insert cellphone-with-camera-in-voting-booth
discussion here.)

(And yes, voting at home is succeptible to spousal coercion.  Better
than queueing
up with the sheeple!  Which is also a form of *meteorological* coercion,
don't go out in crappy weather.  Also snipers and bombs, in places with
that kind
of weather, will deter centralized voting.)

>One option might be to give the voter a MAC of their ballot and then
print the
>MAC's in the paper. The voter could check to see if their vote had been


That's a good idea.   I don't think Chaum's transparency-printing scheme

does this.

Its also possible to write-in candidates for elections you don't care
as "tracers" to make sure your ballot (albeit not other votes in the
bundle) made it.  I voted for Monica Lewinsky a few times that way.

>I still think far better methods for improving voter turn out other
>Internet voting are:
>1.  A National Election Holiday (but in the middle of the work week so
>can't use it to extend a vacation).

Too expensive.

>2. Couple the Election with a National Lottery with local, state, and
>prizes. With appropriate delink of voter's identity from the way they
>of course.

Well, lotteries are evil in my book, but they certainly do inspire the
innumerate sheeple.
I doubt it would work unless the "prizes" were huge --I only get DoS'ed
by queues at 7-11s
when the prizes orders of magnitude larger than 1e6.

>(I'm not claiming that this would actually improve things overall, just

>increase voter turnout).

Have a hollywood actor run.  Or have recalls every year.  Worked in

On the other hand, perhaps it should be made harder to vote.  Democracy
is mob rule, after all.  Testing citizens on the Bill of Rights would be
a good start.

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