Evidence-Based Elections

Philip B. Stark, David Wagner
2012 IEEE Security and Privacy  
We propose an alternative to current requirements for certifying voting equipment and conducting elections. We argue that elections should be structured to provide convincing affirmative evidence that the reported outcomes actually reflect how people voted. This can be accomplished with a combination of software-independent voting systems, compliance audits, and risk-limiting audits. Together, these yield a resilient canvass framework: a fault-tolerant approach to conducting elections that
more » ... strong evidence that the reported outcome is correct or reports that the evidence is not convincing. We argue that, if evidence-based elections are adopted, certification and testing of voting equipment can be relaxed, saving money and time and reducing barriers to innovation in voting systems-and election integrity will benefit. We conclude that there should be more regulation of the evidence trail and less regulation of equipment, and that compliance audits and risk-limiting audits should be required.
doi:10.1109/msp.2012.62 fatcat:twshci7urrb6nlqzetea7zbfce