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On the Feasibility of E2E Verifiable Online Voting – A Case Study From Durga Puja Trial
Authors: Horia Druliac, Matthew Bardsley, Chris Riches, Christian Dunn, Luke Harrison, Bimal Roy, Feng HaoAbstract:
India is the largest democracy by population and has one of the largest deployments of e-voting in the world for national elections. However, the e-voting machines used in India are not end-to-end (E2E) verifiable. The inability to verify the tallying integrity of an election by the public leaves the outcome open to disputes. E2E verifiable e-voting systems are commonly regarded as the most promising solution to address this problem, but they had not been implemented or trialed in India. It was unclear whether such systems would be usable and practical to the Indian people. Previous works such as Helios require a set of tallying authorities (TAs) to perform the decryption and tallying operations, but finding and managing TAs can prove difficult. This paper presents a TA-free E2E verifiable online voting system based on the DRE-ip protocol. In collaboration with the local authority of New Town, Kolkata, India, we conducted an online voting trial as part of the 2022 Durga Puja festival celebration, during which residents of New Town were invited to use mobile phones to vote for their favourite pujas (festival decorations) in an E2E verifiable manner. 543 participants attended the Durga Puja trial and 95 of them provided feedback by filling in an anonymous survey after voting. Based on the voter feedback, participants generally found the system easy to use. This was the first time that an E2E online voting system had been built and tested in India, suggesting its feasibility for non-statutory voting scenarios.
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