Just had a conversation with a family member who's a member of a local council. She told me about how they were doing electronic voting, which was safe because she 'witnessed the transfer'.

A stern lecture followed.

@malin India has been doing electronic voting for a while. The way we fixed the problem of transferring votes was by transporting the voting machine itself. I see that argument here in the US too but they say it's not economical which doesn't make sense because it clearly is. Plenty of places are doing it.

@malin I've seen the video. In fact he even said that you could transport the EVM machine but brushes it off as being not economical.

@kensp You mean Tom said the machine could be transported?

Tom said a machine in transit could be tamperred with, and would then lead into another machine.

@malin yes. But the EVMs in India use write once, read only memory and even if someone manages to tamer the machine itself, the machine uses a VVPAT system where the voter can verify that their vote is cast. It creates a paper trail which can then be manually counted, if required. If a party thinks the EVMs are tampered they can order a manual counting of the paper trail. Also, 2% of random EVMs are manually counted with the paper ballots.

@kensp
How do people check they're write-once and read-only?
How do people check the paper report of your vote is accurate? Isn't that machine generated?

Once that toto for an area is made, how do you check machines which derive grand totals?

And if you can check a vote, how do you stop someone selling a vote, since they're not guaranteed to be anonymous?

@malin @kensp sounds like private blockchain. Implementing a private key for the vote check is still not a reliable solution though.

@malin
One day before the elections, all the parties involved test all the machines with "test" votes and count them to make sure all of the machines work as expected. The machines are then randomly assigned to regions. All parties have guards to protect against tampering.

The paper report is a print that you get after you vote. You just read what the paper says. Its basically your paper ballot, but its used as a fall back. (1/?)

@malin Also the same thing could be said for the counting machines used right now to vote. Clearly we trust those machines though.

Also all the votes are infact anonymous. You are put in a curtained space where no one can see you vote.

Also @Halbeard They are not using any block chains. Infact it not a crazy computer with windows or linux or something. It is a very simple embedded system with a chip that is by design programmable only once.
(2/?)

@malin @Halbeard
As for tampering, the same could be said about paper ballots. In fact, it is much easier to tamper with paper ballots. Changing votes on the EVM would require a lot of technical expertise, and no one has done a demo of a EVM being tampered without leaving a trace. You usually have to break the EVM to change the votes since you need to reflash/replace the chip.
(3/3)

@kensp @malin @Halbeard And how do you verify the software of every single machine and that it behaves the same on test day and voting day? Paper voting is transparent as you can have witnesses with the counting - how do you do that with a digital black box? You’re being extremely naive here.

@js I wouldn't go as far as 'extremely naive', since the representative sampling's a nice trick. Still need to find a way to verify that 'representative', check how many votes cast were real, then anything else we've not thought of, but it's a nice suggestion for a possibly impossible problem.

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