The Vector-Ballot Approach for Online Voting Procedures
Aggelos Kiayias and Moti Yung
Towards Trustworthy Elections, New Directions in Electronic Voting.
Springer 2010 Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp 155-174.


Looking at current cryptographic-based e-voting protocols, one can distinguish three basic design paradigms (or approaches): (a) Mix-Networks based, (b) Homomorphic Encryption based, and © Blind Signatures based. Each of the three possesses different advantages and disadvantages w.r.t. the basic properties of (i) efficient tallying, (ii) universal verifiability, and (iii) allowing write-in ballot capability (in addition to predetermined candidates). In fact, none of the approaches results in a scheme that simultaneously achieves all three. This is unfortunate, since the three basic properties are crucial for efficiency, integrity and versatility (flexibility), respectively. Further, one can argue that a serious business offering of voting technology should offer a flexible technology that achieves various election goals with a single user interface. This motivates our goal, which is to suggest a new “vector-ballot” based approach for secret-ballot e-voting that is based on three new notions: Provably Consistent Vector Ballot Encodings, Shrink-and-Mix Networks and Punch-Hole-Vector-Ballots. At the heart of our approach is the combination of mix networks and homomorphic encryption under a single user interface; given this, it is rather surprising that it achieves much more than any of the previous approaches for e-voting achieved in terms of the basic properties. Our approach is presented in two generic designs called “homomorphic vector-ballots with write-in votes” and “multi-candidate punch-hole vector-ballots”; both of our designs can be instantiated over any homomorphic encryption function.