Origami Voting: A Non-Cryptographic Approach to Transparent Ballot Verification
Working Paper No.:  140
Date Published:  2020-08-13


Enka Blanchard, Digitrust, Loria, Université de Lorraine

Ted Selker, UMBC


Over the past four decades, fear of election manipulation and hacking has spurred the security technology community to propose a variety of voting systems to implement verifiable voting. Most of these rely on hard to understand cryptographic protocols, which can affect whether users actually verify their selections. Three-Ballot and Vote/Anti-Vote/Vote, two related systems among the few non-cryptographic end-to-end verifiable voting systems, made improvements in security while eliminating complex protocols. They unfortunately suffered from usability issues, and although they did not require cryptographic primitives, they still relied on electronic devices. To address this, we introduce three folded paper based systems that allow verifiable voting and resist common attacks despite not relying on any cryptography or electronic devices. The proposals are based on 1) semi-translucent ballots, 2) masking tape, or 3) folding and punching. These Origami voting methods help users understand the underlying mechanisms and give them a direct geometric approach to verification.


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