Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science and Statistics

First Advisor

Edmund Lamagna

Abstract

Improving electronic voting systems to provide election security and integrity while controlling cost has been an area of active research for decades. As a result, many technological improvements are incorporated into the voting systems used today. The introduction of technology, however, has not been without issues and has raised new concerns. One is the possibility of inaccurate election outcomes due to technical failures of the equipment. Another is the problem of election security and the possibility of malicious alteration of election results. Yet another concern is the capability to conduct post-election audits to validate and provide confidence in election results.

The research reported here applies the features of blockchains and zero-knowledge protocols to improve the security, integrity, and transparency of electronic voting systems. This study proposes a new voting algorithm that can be used as an extension to the existing voting systems to provide evidence about the accuracy of an election. A prototype system is developed and implemented, and the system's security and auditing features are tested. The Rhode Island voting system is used as a case study in this research. The proposed algorithm is compatible with current election technology and addresses many major concerns about present voting systems.

Available for download on Saturday, December 18, 2021

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