Janis Erdmanis
Aug 10, 2023 | 224 Words

Development of the PeaceFounder project

The goal of PeaceFounder is to explore the feasibility of a publically verifiable software-independent voting system where votes are signed in plaintext with braided pseudonyms. Many substantial decisions on user experience, security assumptions and design are taken frequently, and most of the time, it is a learning journey. As a result, the system design has evolved unrecognisably over the years. Here I blog on the new developments in the project and how I see the evoting problem.

The current articles come from the beginning of the project and provide only historical records of what things have been explored. In contrast to the main blog page, I have not edited them with Grammarly, and thus could be more readable. Nevertheless, that reminds me to convert my internal notes to exciting blog posts soon.

Introducing PeaceFounder
Around four years ago, I began exploring electronic voting (e-voting) systems by scratching an itch I had. The journey, although challenging, has been enlightening, and I have been focusing on the development of a new e-voting system since I graduated from my PhD program two years ago. Today, I am excited to introduce you to the PeaceFounder project, which is not just another e-voting system but one that aims to raise the bar and overcome the limitations of mainstream E2E verifiable voting systems.
Git for evoting?
A foundation for an electronic voting system could be established through a git-based repository, with contributors possessing merge rights functioning as a governing body. This body would ensure precise vote tallying and supervise the execution of approved proposals. In this context, I suggest an electronic voting system wherein a trusted party equitably distributes public keys to members, enabling them to cast their votes.
How evoting could help for democracy?
There is a great difficulty in designing an electronic voting system that combines transparency, user verifiability, anonymity, and resistance against bribery. In response to this, I propose a decentralized scheme, utilizing a Github-like repository where a board of members with merge rights represents a virtual state.
Electronic voting system based on ring signatures
Inspired by Monero cryptocurrency's transparency and anonymity, I propose a decentralized voting scheme based on universal ring signatures. In this scheme, citizens would receive ID cards containing private keys for signing messages, and a central authority would manage public keys and messages for parties. While the idea offers potential benefits, I discuss challenges such as complex implementation, security concerns.
Some thoughts on electronic voting
Every time when I hear about upcoming elections, I imagine a future where I can vote from anywhere for officials who truly represent our state's interests. However, the trust issues inherent in conventional centralized or blockchain-based electronic voting systems quickly dampen this dream. Despite these challenges, I believe trust concerns can be overcome and have embarked on the intellectual challenge of designing a solution based on modern cryptographic algorithms.


CC BY-SA 4.0 Janis Erdmanis. Last modified: January 31, 2024. Website built with Franklin.jl and the Julia programming language.