End-to-End Verifiable and Secret Online Elections at KIT

KIT currently offers the possibility to conduct online polls. Thereby, conducting open votes, e.g., within video meetings of committees, is relatively easy. However, secret online votes and elections pose a disproportionately greater challenge – due to the opposing requirements which result from the secrecy of the ballot on the one hand side and the need for traceable correctness and election security on the other hand side. Therefore in 2021, the project „Introduction of Online Elections at KIT“ started at KIT, which examines the legal framework conditions, adjusts them, and looks at realization possibilities analogous to the approaches of other universities (usually, these are referred to as so-called black-box systems). For this matter, policy-regulatory and formal-organisational questions initially play a superordinate role. A forward-looking consideration of questions about traceable correctness of the election results – e.g., for being able to reveal manipulations – and thereby the creation of digital transparency for the voters demands in addition a further and deeper investigation.

The goal of this project is the design and the prototypical implementation of an online voting system for end-to-end verifiable, secret elections at KIT. The prototype will be employed for a KIT-wide straw poll. The aim is notably not to change the decision-making power, but to explain complex technical situations.

Project website

Funding body: KIT-Strategiefond

Partners: Bernhard Beckert, Jörn Müller-Quade, Martin Nußbaumer, Michael Kirsten, Felix Dörre, Ulrich Weiß

Funding period: 01.07.2022-31.12.2023

Contact: Melanie Volkamer