Implementing Broadcast Channels with Memory for Electronic Voting Systems

Severin Hauser, Rolf Haenni

Abstract


To provide universal verifiability, cryptographic voting protocols often require a broadcast channel to spread the election data to the public. The basic requirements on such a broadcast channel are similar for most protocols, for example that the channel maintains a memory of all broadcast messages and that nothing can be deleted from the channel’s memory. In this paper, we provide a formal definition for such broadcast channels with memory and describe their properties. We also analyze the significance of a broadcast channel with memory in cryptographic voting protocols and propose that such a channel is provided in form of a service that we call bulletin board. Based on this service, we analyze some real-world problems that cryptographic voting protocols might have and provide possible solutions. For this we define a generic interface for the main board functionalities, which offers a flexible way of extending the basic properties of a bulletin board to comply with all sorts of additional requirements.

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