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Author Topic: Provably Honest Online Elections are Possible on the Blockchain  (Read 828 times)
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December 21, 2014, 07:47:50 AM
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Provably Honest Online Elections are Possible

"Moving elections online is a very controversial subject because it is something everyone would like, but it is not trivial to implement in a provably honest manner. There are countless articles around the internet that throughly document how even electronic voting or vote counting is unverifiable and cannot be trusted. The worries about electronic voting are so strong that many people suggest that only a manually counted paper ballot system can be trusted. While many may be content to accept paper ballots as the “least bad option”, I would like to present new approach that is provably honest.

Paper Ballots are not Provably Honest

Paper ballot systems are slow, expensive, and error prone even when no fraud is at play. People have been rigging paper ballot systems since they were invented. At a small scale paper ballot elections can appear to be honest to most people’s satisfaction only because everyone thinks they can observe the entire process. Once the system attempts to scale beyond a couple hundred people things start to break down. You end up having to rely on others to observe on your behalf. You end up with recounts and fake ballots. In effect, the system can no longer be accepted as honest beyond a reasonable doubt."

Full article below.
http://bytemaster.github.io/article/2014/12/21/Provably-Honest-Online-Elections/
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December 21, 2014, 09:07:59 AM
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Provably Honest Online Elections are Possible

"Moving elections online is a very controversial subject because it is something everyone would like, but it is not trivial to implement in a provably honest manner. There are countless articles around the internet that throughly document how even electronic voting or vote counting is unverifiable and cannot be trusted. The worries about electronic voting are so strong that many people suggest that only a manually counted paper ballot system can be trusted. While many may be content to accept paper ballots as the “least bad option”, I would like to present new approach that is provably honest.

Paper Ballots are not Provably Honest

Paper ballot systems are slow, expensive, and error prone even when no fraud is at play. People have been rigging paper ballot systems since they were invented. At a small scale paper ballot elections can appear to be honest to most people’s satisfaction only because everyone thinks they can observe the entire process. Once the system attempts to scale beyond a couple hundred people things start to break down. You end up having to rely on others to observe on your behalf. You end up with recounts and fake ballots. In effect, the system can no longer be accepted as honest beyond a reasonable doubt."

Full article below.
http://bytemaster.github.io/article/2014/12/21/Provably-Honest-Online-Elections/

yes provably elections have been talked about since a long time, however,
the government is not bitcoin friendly, so these would only be used for other kinds of elections.

The government not being bitcoin friendly now is not a problem. Bitcoin is a 3 letter agency backed coin. Anybody stupid enough to not realize that deserve what they get.
That being said, Bitcoin is destined to be success just because of that. So start accumulating coins and hoard.

So the real problem is:
Do people really want other people to know what they are voting for?
Because that could lead them to problems... if you know what I am saying.
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December 21, 2014, 09:12:32 AM
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So the real problem is:
Do people really want other people to know what they are voting for?
Because that could lead them to problems... if you know what I am saying.
Yup thats very true. Maybe everyone could be given a private key known only to them, and they can vote using that.
But that would be risky as corruption could get the government to create fake keys and addresses.

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December 21, 2014, 09:13:10 AM
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Provably Honest Online Elections are Possible

"Moving elections online is a very controversial subject because it is something everyone would like, but it is not trivial to implement in a provably honest manner. There are countless articles around the internet that throughly document how even electronic voting or vote counting is unverifiable and cannot be trusted. The worries about electronic voting are so strong that many people suggest that only a manually counted paper ballot system can be trusted. While many may be content to accept paper ballots as the “least bad option”, I would like to present new approach that is provably honest.

Paper Ballots are not Provably Honest

Paper ballot systems are slow, expensive, and error prone even when no fraud is at play. People have been rigging paper ballot systems since they were invented. At a small scale paper ballot elections can appear to be honest to most people’s satisfaction only because everyone thinks they can observe the entire process. Once the system attempts to scale beyond a couple hundred people things start to break down. You end up having to rely on others to observe on your behalf. You end up with recounts and fake ballots. In effect, the system can no longer be accepted as honest beyond a reasonable doubt."

Full article below.
http://bytemaster.github.io/article/2014/12/21/Provably-Honest-Online-Elections/

yes provably elections have been talked about since a long time, however,
the government is not bitcoin friendly, so these would only be used for other kinds of elections.
This. A simple search on the forum will find these discussions.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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December 21, 2014, 09:28:12 AM
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I have actually used bitcoins in a community voting, however it gets complicated for people not that techy.
But its an awesome idea, and I see it being widely adopted in future.
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December 21, 2014, 09:47:40 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETCP8NeXasY

http://www.bitpools.com
Pool your bitcoins with others. Vote on solutions using the Bitcoin blockchain. Keep your bitcoins in your cold storage until you find a solution you like.
Links and Reviews of useful every day places to spend bitcoins: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=943143.0
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December 21, 2014, 09:53:43 AM
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Which cheating method is the one that is the most widely used to rig elections?

Ballot stuffing.

He did not mention this problem at all by name and I could not find any hint of it in the text either.
Why would somebody write a text about provable something and not even mention
the most widely spread problem that we need to protect against?

What prevents somebody from stuffing the ballot with 10 or 1000000 bogus votes?

And most people thing vote buying is about the second biggest threat also widely used in practice to rig elections
what we very much need to protect against and he dismissed this popular concern with just handwaving.

So two most critical problems not addressed at all in a provable something. Not impressed.
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December 21, 2014, 07:28:40 PM
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The big problem is ballot secrecy.  If I distribute the tokens to authorized voters, I know who everyone voted for.  That's not a problem in some elections, but, it's a non-starter for many elections.

You can separate the authorization of voters from the distribution of tokens to voters, thus forcing the authorizer to collude with the issuer to break ballot secrecy.  That's good enough for many elections, but still not perfect.

I think we need to wait for the fancy zero knowledge computation stuff to come to fruition before we have secret ballots and transparent elections...but real-time voting is a new idea in election science and a very interesting concept to me...especially if voters can recall and recast their vote (securely) at will.

Hardfork aren't that hard.
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December 21, 2014, 07:42:23 PM
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So the provably honest method has no way to prevent fake votes and no way to warranty the secrecy of votes?

It is useless for political elections, as it is now
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December 21, 2014, 07:57:45 PM
 #10

So the provably honest method has no way to prevent fake votes and no way to warranty the secrecy of votes?

It is useless for political elections, as it is now

Not exactly. Fake votes can be prevented by _trusting_ the voter list authenticator and token distributor to each perform their duties correctly/honestly, however, this violates ballot secrecy and does not eliminate trust.

Now, you can minimize the trust required by making it easier for voters to check the vote and # of voters and verify all voters got a token; the block chain and a good block explorer makes part of this easy (presumably someone would notice a dishonest/incorrect distribution). If any voter failed to get a token, then having a well connected set of voters will facilitate discovery of the number of disenfranchised voters.

Hardfork aren't that hard.
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December 21, 2014, 11:48:08 PM
 #11

Provably Honest Online Elections are Possible

"Moving elections online is a very controversial subject because it is something everyone would like, but it is not trivial to implement in a provably honest manner. There are countless articles around the internet that throughly document how even electronic voting or vote counting is unverifiable and cannot be trusted. The worries about electronic voting are so strong that many people suggest that only a manually counted paper ballot system can be trusted. While many may be content to accept paper ballots as the “least bad option”, I would like to present new approach that is provably honest.

Paper Ballots are not Provably Honest

Paper ballot systems are slow, expensive, and error prone even when no fraud is at play. People have been rigging paper ballot systems since they were invented. At a small scale paper ballot elections can appear to be honest to most people’s satisfaction only because everyone thinks they can observe the entire process. Once the system attempts to scale beyond a couple hundred people things start to break down. You end up having to rely on others to observe on your behalf. You end up with recounts and fake ballots. In effect, the system can no longer be accepted as honest beyond a reasonable doubt."

Full article below.
http://bytemaster.github.io/article/2014/12/21/Provably-Honest-Online-Elections/

yes provably elections have been talked about since a long time, however,
the government is not bitcoin friendly, so these would only be used for other kinds of elections.

For those that count on the abuses of the system, it'll be interesting to see their arguments against a provably fair election system. Maybe politicians will come out demonizing the blockchain and how something so open could never be in the country's best interest. 
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