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Answers for Voters

The "Zeus" in simple words

If we likened the electronic voting of the system "Zeus" to the material ballot, how would it look like?

Each voter receives a special steel envelope. The envelope has a padlock that requires three keys (Voting Codes), those of the election committee. The folder also has a plate with a unique code pasted on it.

The padlock is open, voter puts in his ballot paper, closes the padlock (encryption), writes his name on the folder (email link), and throws it in the special ballot box ("Zeus").

As he casts the ballot, his ballot paper issues a receipt with the code written on his envelope, and he can check that he is indeed himself.

When the vote is over, the election committee presses a button on the ballot box and the envelopes begin to heat up and mix. As they mix at high temperature, the plates with the codes all come off the envelopes and stick permanently to the walls of the ballot box when they cool down. (Mixing)

When the ballot box is opened, everyone can see who voted by looking at the plates with the codes on the ballot box, but not which everyone's ballot is.

The committee then removes the anonymous ballots from the ballot box and unlocks them with its three keys. (Decryption)

Any voter can check if his or her vote has been counted, looking to see if his or her folder code on the receipt is among those at the ballot box after mixing.

No one can tamper with the codes stuck on the ballot box because this requires a high temperature, and the ballot box can only be heated once otherwise it will break.

If someone enters the polls and casts a ballot, precisely because the anonymity in Zeus does not begin at the closing of the file, but in the mixing of the ballot, it is possible without any impact on integrity and anonymity, to remove envelopes nominally before the button is pressed.

Everyone knows which ones have been removed after seeing which ones are stuck in after mixing.

How is the secrecy of the vote ensured?

There are two barriers to secrecy protection, the encryption of the ballot , and the anonymous mixing of encrypted ballots.

For the encryption of votes in each ballot, there are multiple cryptographic keys, the Voting Codes, which are the personal responsibility of the members of the Electoral Commission. The "Zeus" system also holds a Voting Code in each ballot. Confidentiality is violated only if someone has at the same time the Codes of all the members as well as that of the "Zeus" system. Therefore, secrecy is practically guaranteed, as long as only one Code is safe from everyone.

For anonymous mixing of encrypted ballots, no cryptographic keys are needed, but a mathematical proof is produced that the mixing process was done correctly without damaging the process. The mixing takes place in autonomous stages, the first of which is performed by the "Zeus" system itself. The Supervisory Board then instructs either its members or any other trusted external body to contribute additional steps to the mix for greater security. As with Voting Codes, confidentiality is practically guaranteed as long as one and only one step from everything is done correctly.

How can the Supervisory Committee not know what everyone voted for if they have all the keys to decryption?

In order for someone to be able to decrypt something they shouldn't, they need to know all the keys at once. In the proper voting process of the "Zeus" system, each member of the committee knows only his own key (as part of his Voting Code) and no one else. The decryption is done in sections, passing separately by each member, and only after it has been passed by everyone do the decrypted ballots appear.

Why can I vote more than once? Isn't there a risk of double-counting votes?

Any voter can vote as many times as they want until the voting process is over. Because the ballot is not held at a polling station with a controlled curtain, one may not be sure that one voted without any outside influence. Even if this happens, the voter can then vote again in a way that freely and unaffectedly expresses his or her choices. As for the risk of double counting, this is impossible. Each new vote on the proof of its registration clearly states the annulment of the previous vote.

Voting is over! Will the results come out immediately?

No. When the voting process is completed, two more steps remain: mixing and decrypting. At both stages, the Zeus system and the participating external computers of the committee members and their trusted executives perform a large number of encryption operations in order to execute and prove that both the mixing of the ballots and their decryption took place correctly. Depending on the number of voters, this can take from a few minutes to a few hours.

I lost the email message with the link to vote. What should I do?

Contact the members of the Electoral Commission to send you a new message.

What are the requirements for the computer I will vote from?

Your computer should have one of the a recommended Internet browsers installed. In addition:

  • Confirm that any additional programs (plugins) are up to date.
  • Use firewalls and antivirus protection programs.
  • Do not download or use third party browser toolbars in your browser.
  • Keep your computer's operating system up to date and receive security patches.

Where can I find the latest versions of recommended Internet browsers?

  • For the Mozilla Firefox program: http://www.mozilla.org/el/firefox/new/
  • For Google Chrome: https://www.google.com/intl/el/chrome/browser/

    What if the message with the link to the ballot does not reach or is leaked? Can someone vote instead of me?

    If you find that you have not received any message to vote or if you receive it and see on the page that you voted while you know you did not vote, you must notify the Supervisory Board immediately to investigate the matter and ensure that you have the right to vote.

    The message I received and which invites me to vote mentions some "control codes". What are they?

    This is an advanced feature of the "Zeus" system that can be used if the user suspects that his computer has been compromised and running malware. These codes are required for Vote Control Procedure.

    What is the "Vote Control Process"?

    The Voting Control Process is an advanced process that aims to confirm to the user that his computer, and specifically a browser on the World Wide Web (browser) he uses, has not been infected by specialized malware that can disrupt the voting process.

    Specifically, even if the voter suspects that his Internet browser has been infected, he would like to make sure that the ballot paper submitted to the "Zeus" system really contains his choices and only those.

    Since a local computer is suspicious, the check is done by selectively posting special control votes. However, the "Zeus" system cannot publish ballots on its own without the user submitting them and requesting it. The voter can submit a ballot paper, request its publication to find that its transfer and processing was done correctly, not to take this into account in the counting, but then to submit a new ballot which will really be counted.

    Even so, someone could theoretically build a malicious program that would affect the user's browser to display their options without ever communicating with the Zeus system. To avoid this, the user and the "Zeus" system must share a "secret" that no malicious program knows.

    "Vote control codes" are such a secret. If the user gives a normal check code, the vote will be canceled as valid. If an incorrect check code is given, the "Zeus" system asks the user to confirm the publication of the options on his ballot paper. In this way, he can see that they have been transferred to the system correctly. Of course, a submission of a vote will then have to take place. No malicious program can figure out what the user will decide to do, that is, whether they will decide to view their options or register it as valid. Therefore, if the user repeats the process n times, the probability that there is a malicious program that can deceive him is 1/2n.