Click the comments link on any story to see comments or add your own.
Subscribe to this blog
22 Aug 2019
Apropos of recent news stories about a blockchain based voting system that was hacked before its first election, someone asked:
Perhaps final recognition that a lot of blockchain is hype? Or simply an interesting side-story?
A blockchain can ensure that the lies you see are the same lies that were published, but that doesn't have much to do with voting.
Voting has a very peculiar security model -- you need to verify that each person voted at most once, you need to count all of the votes for each candidate, and you need not to link the two. A lot of very bad voting systems are built by people who wrongly assume that its security model is similar to something else, which it is not.
An obvious example is Diebold who built voting machines that worked like ATMs, which was a disaster, since the way you audit ATMs depends on the details of each transaction being linked to the person doing it.
Paper ballots have a lot to recommend them. It's easy for poll workers to observe that each voter puts one ballot into the box, they're relatively easy to count (we use mark sense machines here) and compared to the spaghetti code in direct recording machines, they're quite tamper resistant.
comments... (Jump to the end to add your own comment)
Add your comment...
Note: all comments require an email address to send a confirmation to verify that it was posted by a person and not a spambot. The comment won't be visible until you click the link in the confirmation. Unless you check the box below, which almost nobody does, your email won't be displayed, and I won't use it for other purposes.
My other sites
© 2005-2020 John R. Levine.
CAN SPAM address harvesting notice: the operator of this website will not give, sell, or otherwise transfer addresses maintained by this website to any other party for the purposes of initiating, or enabling others to initiate, electronic mail messages.