Electronic Voting

(Jointly with the Cryptographic Protocols Group)

Seminar, Summer 2010

Instructors Dr. Matteo Maffei, Dr. Dominique Unruh
Teaching Assistant Fabienne Eigner
Organizational Meeting Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm, room 2.18, second floor of building E1.1.
Registration Registration deadline: Sunday, April 18th (over).
Time/Place tba
Presentation Sessions tba
Language English
Contact maffei (at) cs (dot) uni-saarland (dot) de, <dominique's surname> at mmci dot uni-saarland dot de, <fabienne's surname> at cs dot uni-saarland dot de

Latest News

  • 2010-04-20: the topics and some literature are now online
  • 2010-04-19: registration is closed


Electronic voting is receiving increasing attention from governments, mass media, and the scientific community. The deployment of electronic voting systems, however, is limited in practice since many open questions still remain.

  • How do we ensure that the votes are counted correctly?
  • How do we protect the voters from coercion?
  • What are the security properties required for a voting scheme?
  • And how do we define and prove security?

In this seminar, we will conduct research to provide answers to these and other questions. We will work, in particular, on formal security definitions, analysis techniques, and actual cryptographic voting systems.

Topic I. Symbolic verification of coercion resistance

Different approaches of defining coercion-resistance can be found in the following papers:

(The latter already performs a symbolic analysis, it might be interesting for comparison with the other definitions.)

If you wish to do an analysis based on the paper by Unruh and Müller-Quade, you might find the following paper helpful, which transfers the so-called Universal Composability framework to the symbolic setting:

Examples for voting schemes that could be analyzed are Bingo voting and the other protocols referenced in the following paper:

Topic II. Randomized voting

Well-known remote voting schemes that you might wish to build upon are Civitas and Helios:

We also found the following on the net, it might be related to the topic:

Topic III. Robust elections

Well-known remote voting schemes that you might wish to build upon are Civitas and Helios:

One building block that might be useful for sharing data in a robust way is Shamir's secret sharing scheme:

  • How to share a secret. Adi Shamir. In Communications of the ACM archive, Volume 22 , Issue 11 (November 1979), pages 612-613

Modus operandi

Students will work in small groups. Each group will be assigned a research topic. Work on this topic will consist of reading relevant literature, performing original research, and writing a final report.

Each student will additionally give one talk, presenting a particular aspect of the group's research results.

Each group will be directly supervised by Dr. Matteo Maffei and Dr. Dominique Unruh and given the opportunity to regularly discuss their research with the supervisors.


You should enjoy math and theoretical computer science!

In addition, having passed at least one lecture on security or cryptography is a prerequisite of this course.

Since the topics are challenging and require original research, we especially recommend this course to students that obtained very good grades in these lectures.

How to register

The registration deadline is Sunday, April 18.

Since the number of available places is limited, we might have to perform a selection based on the students' background. Thus, for registering, please send an e-mail to <fabienne's surname> at cs dot uni-saarland dot de, indicating your name and matriculation number and listing any security-related courses you have taken.