Voter enclave

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A voter enclave (VE) is a way of providing the following features within a voting system:

  • external verification ("were all these votes cast by real voters?")
  • internal verification ("was my vote correctly added to the total?")
  • preservation of public vote anonymity (the public at large cannot determine how any individual voted)

New problems will likely crop up within this system, but it provides a new structure which hopefully will suggest solutions.

Tentatively, this system eliminates all possible "hacks" to electronic voting systems, since it's verifiable all the way down.

The Rules

  • self-grouping: Any group of people of any size may create a VE, and register it with the government.
  • single-vote: Every voter joins exactly one VE, and registers their membership with the government.
  • public record: The list of VEs and the number of members in each are posted publicly.
  • In an election:
    • Voters may see the votes of all others in the VE, in order to verify that the VE is reporting the correct totals.
    • The lists of VE totals (but not the individual votes) are posted publicly, so the public can verify that the final vote represents an accurate summing of the individual VE totals.

How It Works

This makes it possible for individual voters to verify that their votes were correctly added to the VE's totals, because they will have access to the individual votes of everyone else in the VE.

From there, it is possible to reconstruct the final total by

Self-grouping is important because:

  • It means that voters are free to only reveal their votes to others they trust, thus preventing individual targeting by hostiles.
  • It minimizes corruption within the VEs, as voters can freely change to (or form) another VE if they don't like the way their current VE is doing things.

Addressed Problems=

  • Q: Won't some VEs cheat and report higher totals than could be accounted for by their membership?
    • A: The number of members in each VE will be a matter of public record.

Possible Problems

  • Since VEs will tend to consist of like-minded people, mostly in small groups, hostiles might target everyone in the VEs they don't like.
    • Solution: Keep member-lists private -- only the government has them. Hostiles will not know any individuals to target.
    • solution: Allow VEs to partner with others and aggregate their votes. The same mechanisms will work at any number of levels. This limits the reach of information about where hostile-disapproved votes are coming from.