MIT Technology Review just published a description of Scratch & Vote, the simple paper-based cryptographic voting scheme that Ron Rivest and I devised. It’s great to see growing interest in cryptographic voting from the scientific press, especially since the debate has focused far too much on “paper or no paper,” when the real question should be “verified, or not verified.” Kudos to Duncan Graham-Rowe for extracting a concise and clear overview of the system from many long technical discussions with me.
Cryptographic voting schemes like Scratch & Vote offer a far superior method of verification: you the voter, can check directly that your vote made it into the tally unharmed, and that the votes of all other participants were tallied correctly. Directly, not by trusting an election official. All while preserving the anonymity of your vote, of course. Sounds impossible? Intrigued? Go check out my lecture on cryptographic voting.
(No scientific paper floats in the vast ether of knowledge on its own. My work is based on the ground-breaking work of David Chaum, in particular Punchscan.)
UPDATE – best reader comment already in: “I suggest a scratch and sniff feature be included so that we can determine whether or not a candidate or measure stinks.”
UPDATE 2 – It turns out, the Onion beat me to the punch.