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Independent verification of the election results

In principle, voting by electronic means can be verified by both the voters and the election organiser. However, this results in technical challenges given that the test must take place while maintaining ballot secrecy. For this reason, from a technical perspective, the verification of electronic voting is divided into several individual steps.

Stages of the verification of online voting:

  1. Cast-as-intended: The voters verify the correct transmission of their vote to the central election system components
  2. Stored-as-cast: The voters verify that their vote is cached unchanged and correctly goes into the counting
  3. Tallied-as-stored: The election organiser controls the correct counting of all submitted votes; regardless of individual voters

Tallied-as-stored: The correct counting of the transmitted votes

To review the election results, you must first check the integrity of the available data. To do this you should export the data from your electoral roll and the ballot box as well as the corresponding security key. Then you should read the election data in the verification tool and decrypt it using the passwords and checksums. To ensure that all data has been properly and completely read, verify the integrity and authenticity of the block checksums with hash values. Should the election data be in integer form, you can count it again and compare with the election results from POLYAS.

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Develop an individual verification tool

Elections are a public good. Yet because of their central importance to society, they are also very sensitive. Therefore, we provide you with all the necessary information for the development of your own verification tools. We want to promote the transparency of online elections and contribute to an open dialogue.

How to develop your own verification software for online voting:
Contact our online voting experts for the concrete manual

This is an example of a verification tool. If you wish to verify the results of your election, you may use our template and customise it to suit the requirements and features of your election. The document describes how to read the election data, decrypt the votes and recount as well as how to calculate and compare the checksums calculated from the electoral roll and the ballot box once more.

POLYAS Tip: Upon request, our developers can provide you with a reference implementation in Java which can help you with your own implementation. Contact our election experts and ask for a free quote