Blockchain Ethics

[Crypto Voting & The U.S. Election] Project Updates

Update #1

I have defined the project (with my project proposal) and I have laid out a (tentative) format through which to pursue this project - this project will take form as a series of blogposts:

  1. Introduction
  2. U.S. Election Science Fiction: Short Stories From Potential Futures
  3. Overview of paper ballot innovations by cryptographers
  4. End-to-end verifiable cryptographic innovations: The Good Ones
  5. Other e-voting solutions: The Bad Ones
  6. Where did blockchain come in? On-chain voting
  7. Conclusion / A request to our leaders (better title needed)

I plan to post this as a series on Medium, but before I do so I will write each post and look for critical feedback to make revisions and double check that this project is going in the right direction.

This week, I submitted my “paper” which I plan to use as the “Introduction” for this series. Please do leave me feedback on this! If you find cryptographically secure voting systems interesting, maybe it will also just be a fun read! It is HERE.

Next week I will post my science fiction, which I also hope to get your feedback on!

I have begun discussions with experts in this domain, and whose papers I have read and referenced.

Consulted Experts (all of whom I will continue discussions with):

  1. Duncan Buell. Duncan is a computer scientist, professor at University of South Carolina, and has focused much time and work on elections technology. He recently interrogated the Voatz “blockchain” internet voting system (paper).
  2. Josh Benaloh. Benaloh is Senior Cryptographer at Microsoft Research and has published several papers about voting systems, such as “Simple Verifiable Elections”, which was used to implement projects such as Helios.
  3. Noah Stephens-Davidowitz. Noah is a postdoctoral researcher at MIT’s computer science department. He teaches Cryptography & Cryptanalysis (18.425). I have been sitting in on his class to better understand the cryptographic systems employed in the papers I read. We have discussed zero-knowledge proofs with respect to voting systems.

Today I will (again) meet with Ron Rivest, who has invented cryptosystems such as RSA, and voting systems. Later this week I will meet with people in the domain whom Duncan Buell put me in touch with:

  • Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, President and CEO of the U.S. Vote Foundation
  • Rachel Goodman, an attorney with Protect Democracy