The digital age hasn’t been very good for elections, at least when it comes to the actual recording and counting of votes. But some big brains are out to change all that. Here is a system that would let you vote anonymously and allow you to verify that your vote was recorded accurately.
Or maybe it’s just too good to be true.
The idea is that you would vote on a piece of paper that is perforated down the center. Candidates and other ballot options are listed on the left in random order and you record your vote in boxes on the right. Through the magic of bar codes, your choices are passed on through “many cryptographic steps, spread out on many different parties” to ultimately produce a plain text tally. The “many different parties” is supposed to make it hard to rig. Later, using an Internet Web browser device and a copy of your bar-coded ballot, you could check to make sure your vote was tallied as intended.
And once you work out the kinks in your time machine, you can go back and undo Florida, 2000. —PZS
After the close of the election the votes are decrypted in such a way as to hide all the voters’ identities and (after many cryptographic steps, spread out on many different parties) verifiably producing the plaintext, countable votes. This procedure is very complicated and require computers to do all the cryptography but this can be done by experts. Because of the way that the system is constructed, it is not possible for any single person or any single organisation to change the outcome of the election or to find out how you voted. Instead, we spread out the trust in the system on many different parties who are unlikely all to work together to break the election, for example the current government, the opposition, each political party, the United Nations, several governments of other countries etc. Unless all of these come together and decide to change the outcome of the election then no-one can do so. Unless they all come together and decide to find out how you, or any other voter, voted then no-one can do so. This is a much better way of trusting elections than having to trust that an enormous apparatus, involving thousands of people, millions of voters and millions of votes works without a problem.