Security Requirements

Unique Security Requirements of Elections

As government elections depend on strong security measures, the use of internet voting has been a topic of much debate.

It is important to recognize that powerful nations such as the United States have long employed digital systems with strong security measures for a range of critical functions, including voting in Congress, communication between individuals key to national security, the protection of national secrets, coordination in war zones, and the secure handling of powerful weapons such as the nuclear arsenal.

Strong cryptography can now also be used to secure internet voting. For an election to be secure, all 3 of these core requirements must be simultaneously met:

1. Authenticated Voters

Only legitimately registered voters are allowed to vote, and only once per person.

2. Private Voting

A fair election requires that voters can freely choose without anyone learning how they voted.

3. Verifiable Tallies

For widely accepted results, vote totals must be independently auditable for accuracy.

There have already been digital systems in widespread use that offer each of these properties individually. Yet accomplishing all three at the same time has been unusually challenging. SIV has been specifically designed to simultaneously meet all three requirements.