Dispute Resolution in Voting

by   David Basin, et al.

In voting, disputes arise when a voter claims that the voting authority is dishonest and did not correctly process his ballot while the authority claims to have followed the protocol. A dispute can be resolved if any third party can unambiguously determine who is right. We systematically characterize all relevant disputes for a generic, practically relevant, class of voting protocols. Based on our characterization, we propose a new definition of dispute resolution for voting that accounts for the possibility that both voters and the voting authority can make false claims and that voters may abstain from voting. A central aspect of our work is timeliness: a voter should possess the evidence required to resolve disputes no later than the election's end. We characterize what assumptions are necessary and sufficient for timeliness in terms of a communication topology for our voting protocol class. We formalize the dispute resolution properties and communication topologies symbolically. This provides the basis for verification of dispute resolution for a broad class of protocols. To demonstrate the utility of our model, we analyze a mixnet-based voting protocol and prove that it satisfies dispute resolution as well as verifiability and receipt-freeness. To prove our claims, we combine machine-checked proofs with traditional pen-and-paper proofs.


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