The SAVE System: Secure Architecture for Voting Electronically

Working Paper No.: 
12
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Jonathan Goler
MIT
Ted Selker

Existing technology is capable of yielding secure, reliable, and auditable voting systems. This system outlines an architecture based on redundancy at each stage of the ballot submission process that is resistant to external hacking and internal insertion of malicious code. The proposed architecture addresses all layers of the system beyond the point when a voter commits the ballot. These steps include the verification of eligibility to vote, authentication, and aggregation of the vote. A redundant electronic audit trail keeps track of all of the votes and messages received, rendering a physical paper trail unnecessary. There is no single point of failure in the system, as none of the components at a particular layer relies on any of the others; nor is there a single component that decides what tally is correct. Each system arrives at the result on its own. Programming time for implementation is minimal. The proposed architecture was written in Java in a short time. A second programmer was able to write a module in less than a week. Performance and reliability are incrementally improvable by separate programmers writing new redundant modules.

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