Scantegrity is a security enhancement for , providing such systems with verifiability of election results. It uses confirmation codes to allow a voter to prove to themselves that their ballot is included unmodified in the final tally. The codes are privacy-preserving and offer no proof of which candidate a voter voted for. Receipts can be safely shown without compromising ballot secrecy.

Scantegrity II prints the confirmation codes in to improve usability and dispute resolution. As the system relies on cryptographic techniques, the ability to validate an election outcome is both as well as independent of faults in the physical of the paper ballots. The system was developed by a team of researchers including cryptographers David Chaum and .



produce an electronic , while maintaining the original paper ballots which can be rescanned or manually hand-counted to provide an ostensibly corroborative tally. However, the correctness of each of these tallies requires the voter to either trust that the software is error-free and has not been hacked, or that the physical chain-of-custody of the ballots has not been broken at any point. Other E2E voting systems such as Punchscan and , address these issues but require existing polling place equipment and procedures to be greatly altered or replaced. In contrast, Scantegrity is an meant to be used in conjunction with existing optical scan equipment, thereby requiring fewer hardware and software and procedural modifications. The voter marks the location using a specially provided “decoder” pen, which activates the invisible ink causing it to darken, revealing a confirmation code.

Voters wishing to verify that their vote is unmodified may write down the confirmation codes for each race on a detachable chit that contains the ballot’s serial number. Otherwise, the voter can simply ignore the code and continue to mark and cast their ballot as normal.

The confirmation codes are randomly assigned to the ballots, allowing voters to freely share their codes while keeping their votes secret. The codes are also to a committee of mutually-distrustful entities (such as representatives of each political party) so that the confirmation codes cannot be changed or misprinted without detection. Voters may request additional ballots to audit—they ensure the ballots are properly printed by revealing all the codes and comparing these to the codes committed to.


After the election is finished, the election authority publicly posts a list of confirmation codes for the positions marked on each ballot it received. Voters who wrote down their codes can verify that the codes are correct for their ballot number and that no codes were added or removed.

Use in public elections

The city of used Scantegrity II for its November, 2009 election. Scantegrity was used again in Takoma Park for its November, 2011 election.


Further reading

External links


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