SIV Blog

What technical requirements should a government consider when evaluating internet voting solutions?

Ariana Ivan - Apr 21, 2022

Government elections have a high security bar, which has led to many thoughtful debates about internet voting.

One insight is that in order to call an election "secure", these 3 requirements are needed:

1. Authenticated voters

Only legitimately registered voters are allowed to vote, and only once per person. This authentication process must be independently auditable.

2. Private voting

A fair election requires that voters can freely choose without anyone learning how they voted. For a true “Free and Fair Election”, this privacy must include even election officials and technology providers. Strong security comes from independently verifiable privacy design, not just unverifiable promises. It is not simply a question of ethics or ill-intent, but also resistance from the vendor’s systems being compromised.

3. Verifiable tallies

For widely accepted results, vote totals must be independently auditable for accuracy. The more that happens behind closed doors, the less everyone can trust the results.

Individually, each requirement can be met. The unusual challenge is to meet all three at once.

SIV is explicitly designed for all three goals, built upon decades of peer-reviewed research, while also being fast and easy to use for both voters and election officials.

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