Towards a Robust Distributed Framework for Election-Day Voter Check-In

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Electronic poll books are computerized distributed systems that replace paper-based voter lists used to enable eligible voters to cast their ballots on the Election Day. These systems have the potential for speeding up voter check-in at the polling place, and making voter records more accurate by reducing human errors in dealing with printed voter lists and post-election transcription. At the same time, electronic poll books are non-trivial distributed computing systems, and ensuring correctness, security, integrity, fault-tolerance, and performance of such systems is a challenging problem. In fact we are not aware of a single commercially available system that does not contain major deficiencies and risk factors. This paper focuses on the distributed system aspects of electronic poll book solutions and identifies the obstacles that are inherent in any distributed system that must deal with failure and asynchrony while providing a consistent and dependable service. We review several requirements that need to be satisfied by electronic poll book systems, we discuss selected important results from distributed computing research that the commercial developers of electronic poll book systems appear to not be aware of. We then present a wider landscape, including social and political science aspects, we survey broader research issues, and discuss system implementation considerations. This paper brings for the first time to the attention of the research community an in-depth presentation of an important new problem of immediate relevance. Moreover, the electronic poll book technology is an attractive application domain for the research results in dependable and secure distributed computing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems - 23rd International Symposium, SSS 2021, Proceedings
EditorsColette Johnen, Elad Michael Schiller, Stefan Schmid
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9783030910808
StatePublished - 2021
Event23rd International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems, SSS 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Nov 17 2021Nov 20 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13046 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference23rd International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems, SSS 2021
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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