MITRE ElectionGuard Verifier

John D. Ramsdell and Moses D. Liskov

ElectionGuard is a software system designed to make voting more secure, transparent and accessible. ElectionGuard uses cryptography to ensure that

  • voters can verify that their own selections have been correctly recorded, and

  • anyone can verify that the recorded votes have been correctly tallied.

Version 1.0.0 of the MITRE ElectionGuard Verifier provides the means to validate specification version 1.1 ElectionGuard election records that use version 1.0 data formats in an easy to use package.

Design Goals

Our primary goal is to write easily understood correct code. We follow Donald Knuth advice's on writing software:

Instead of imagining that our main task is to instruct a computer what to do, let us concentrate rather on explaining to human beings what we want a computer to do.

We have two secondary goals.

  • When the verifier detects a problem with a part of an election record, it provides a clear link to the equations in the spec that where violated by the election record, thereby easing the task of diagosing what went wrong.

  • The verifier makes effective use of parallel processing without contradicting our pledge to write easily understood corret code.