Automating voting terminal event log analysis

Tigran Antonyan, Seda Davtyan, Sotirios Kentros, Aggelos Kiayias, Laurent Michel, Nicolas Nicolaou, Alexander Russell, Alexander Shvartsman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

In the interest of auditing election procedures, certain electronic voting technologies provide monitoring capabilities that record select actions undertaken by election officials before, during, and after an election process, as well as the conditions present in an electronic voting terminal as the result of its interactions with its environment. In this paper we report on an automated auditing process for detecting procedural irregularities for elections employing the AccuVote Optical Scan (AV-OS) terminal (manufactured by Premier Election Systems). Our auditing process is derived from an abstract finite state model of the AV-OS; this determines, in particular, a correspondence between state transitions and logged events that separates expected and “irregular” histories. Automating the detection of these irregular histories has permitted us to provide detailed election procedure audits for full-scale Connecticut elections. We conclude the article with a discussion of the result of the event log analysis performed within the post-election audit of the November 2008 elections in Connecticut. Additionally, we identify a defect and some deficiencies in the AV-OS event logging subsystem that can interfere with the event log transcript making it vulnerable to manipulation and discuss the effects of these deficiencies. This research is funded by the Office of the Secretary of the State of Connecticut.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event2009 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections, EVT/WOTE 2009, Held in Conjunction with the 18th USENIX Security Symposium - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Aug 10 2009Aug 11 2009

Conference

Conference2009 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections, EVT/WOTE 2009, Held in Conjunction with the 18th USENIX Security Symposium
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period8/10/098/11/09

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Public Administration

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