Oakland University

Department of Computer Science

CSE 681 -- Information Security

 EVoting: Electronic Remote Elections 

 Voting, Feasibility, Implementation, Verification

David Foster, Laura Stapleton

dlfoste2@oakland.edu, lastaple@oakland.edu

Progress Report: Stage One - Background research of Current Methodologies

The following is the first progress report on the Evoting Project. In this report you will find the intended audience a brief description of the proposed work, the outline for the research plan, list of valuable resources, and our overall status on the project. The overall status can be determined by breaking up the project into seven major milestones and discussing what is complete and what remains to be done in each category. The seven major checkpoints are as follows:

5.2 Research Plan 




I Project Introduction     


Background research of current methodologies




Selection of one (or more) specific topics listed in Section 2: Possible Solutions












Generate Report




Generate Presentation





Anyone who is interested in remote voting, current and future methods.

Description of the proposed work

The Evoting Team intends to identify and assess current voting methods, key contributors, and resources.  In the process of narrowing the focus of this project, we will evaluate the basic strengths and weaknesses of a few methods currently in use, along with new proposed methods.  What contributions are needed to reach a suitable level of security and user confidence in Electronic and Remote Voting comparable to one or more of the current methods.  Current topics include verification and paper trails, security, approved ballots.

Outline.  We have made a minor change to our title, replacing "internet voting" with "remote voting", which includes the internet.  As of 03/19/2006 06:48 PM , the following is the outline for the project:

  1. Introduction 
  2. Background research of current methodologies
    1. Absentee Ballots
    2. In-Person
      1. Types of Ballots being used
      2. State Approved Vendors
    3. Remote Voting
  3. Narrowing the Search, Strengths & Weaknesses
    1. EVoting topics
      1. methods
      2. security and vulnerabilities
      3. verification
      4. storage
      5. education
    2. Assess Strength and Weakness
    3. Design or Evaluate
  4. Design/Simulation
    1. Bootable Disk - Modem
    2. Shelving and trays
  5. Testing
  6. Generate Report
  7. Generate Presentation

Additional and revisited resources. (also see the resources named on the main project page):

  1. Vote Here  Vote here, a division of Dategrity Corp, offers Independent audit solutions for validation and verification of election results.  Vote Here touts an auditable tracking system for absentee ballots.  They offer downloads of their source code, not yet verified.  "Error: Language string failed to load: connect_host".  They claim you can have "confidence" , "VoteHere Proves every vote counted."  VoteHere offers a plethora of resources.
  2. HP and Scytle A global agreement for the development of electronic voting systems.
  3. Research on Voting Systems and Ballot Design Usability Professionals' Association, promoting usability concepts and techniques worldwide.  An mid-scale organized list of ballot design, internet voting, voting systems, voting system vendors, and research centers.

I. Introduction

Voting accuracy has been a debatable topic since the dawn of voting.  With the advent of electronic communication, and recent concerns regarding the validity of voting results come the pros and cons of electronic voting.  Many public and private entities are taking interest in locating and evaluating current and future methods for making every vote count.  The State of Michigan oversees current approved vendors for voting throughout the counties of Michigan.   The Michigan Department of State offers a  basic tutorial, The Citizens Guide to Voting Additional Details can be found in their Elections in Michigan links.

II. Background and Research in Current Methodologies

III. Narrowing the Search, Evaluating the Strengths and Weaknesses

This phase of the project proves the most difficult and more needs to be done. 

IV. Design/Simulation

  1. A specification with a few samples for proof of concept.
  2. A bootable CD with network/modem support, to implement a system based on concepts including VoteHere, EVOX, and Pynx electronic voting systems.

V. Testing/Verification

Future challenges involve getting a program to run automatically (or at all) that we add to the disk, and get a modem working
with the boot disk. We need to identify or create an authentication protocol so that the voter knows the disks is
authentic (doesn't use a fake disk to vote to an imposter, who then uses the info to log in correctly and vote their own way
- at least not without detection), the machine connected to is not authentic, and the person using the disk is the correct
person (or make vote buying and/or multiple voting impractical).

Overall Appraisal

The project has come together nicely though we do admit we may be unable to deliver a finished, fully functional wide-scale secure evoting system by the November 14, 2005 deadline. 

We do hope however, to attain a working sample and proof of concept.

03/19/2006 06:48:50 PM                                                                         Back to EVoting Home Page