Feedback — Week 1 Quiz

Question 1

Who could tamper with a mechanical lever machine?
Your Answer Score Explanation
All of the above Correct 1.00
Total 1.00 / 1.00
Question Explanation

Mechanical lever machines are potentially vulnerable to manipulation by many parties.

Poll workers could insert pencil lead into the machine’s gears to jam them, or start the counters at non-zero positions.

Manufacturers could create hidden levers or other complicated mechanisms to allow manipulation of the votes during an election.

Voters might sabotage the machine or otherwise jam levers (as a denial of service attack), or they could swap or obscure the labels on candidate’s levers.

Question 2

Which security requirements do paper ballots satisfy better than voice voting?

Check all that apply.

Your Answer Score Explanation
Enfranchisement Correct 0.20 Although many groups were excluded from voting in the historical period when voice voting was prominent, this was not a property of the technology. Moreover, paper ballots can create barriers for illiterate voters.
Voter authentication Correct 0.20 Conceptually, both systems can use the same kinds of mechanisms to authenticate voters.
Ballot secrecy Correct 0.20 In voice voting, there is no ballot secrecy; everyone can tell how you voted. Paper ballots can give stronger privacy.
Integrity Correct 0.20 Both voice voting and paper ballots have different ways of ensuring integrity; an advantage voice voting has is that its results can be verified by anyone within earshot of the polls.
Availability Correct 0.20 Paper ballots require more equipment than voice voting (ballots and ballot boxes), which provides an opportunity for failure (e.g., not enough ballots, lost ballot boxes) or denial of service.
Total 1.00 / 1.00

Question 3

Which of the following are likely to be adversarial failures?

Check all that apply.

Your Answer Score Explanation
Bridge collapses due to unanticipated high winds Correct 0.25 Natural forces are not adversarial. They can sometimes behave in unanticipated ways, but they neither malicious nor intelligent in the security sense.
Bank has its money stolen by bank workers Correct 0.25 Insiders can be adversaries/attackers too!
Bridge collapses due to neglected maintenance Correct 0.25 Just because a human could be held responsible for a failure does not make it adversarial. Maintenance is often neglected without malicious intent (due to funding cuts or engineer oversights, for example).
House burns down after arsonist sets it on fire Correct 0.25 The arsonist is the attacker
Total 1.00 / 1.00
Question Explanation

Adversarial failures are brought on by a malicious attacker (an adversary).

Question 4

Which voting systems allow votes to be recounted in the event of a dispute?
Your Answer Score Explanation
Paper ballot Correct 1.00
Total 1.00 / 1.00
Question Explanation

Paper ballots are a record of the voter’s intent and can be recounted at a later date, whereas voice voting and mechanical lever machines only capture the voter’s intent once during the election — If there is any dispute (for example, that the machine did not count the votes correctly), it may be difficult or impossible to determine the true outcome.

Question 5

Who might potentially be interested in violating a voter’s ballot secrecy?

Check all that apply.

Your Answer Score Explanation
Politically-motivated criminals Correct 0.33 Thugs could be paid by candidates or parties to coerce voters to vote for particular candidates, and would want to ensure that their victims voted for their candidate.
A spouse Correct 0.33 A spouse may want to verify that their spouse voted for the «right» candidate.
An employer Correct 0.33 An employer may place pressure on employees to vote for candidates that would be beneficial for the company, and unjustly reward or punish voters that vote in or out of line.
Total 1.00 / 1.00
Question Explanation

All of the above have (different) incentives for coercing a voter or for verifying that a voter voted in a particular way.

Question 6

What would help defend against chain voting?
Your Answer Score Explanation
Each ballot has a unique ID. When a voter is given a ballot, the ID is recorded. When the voter submits his or her ballot, this ID is checked against the record Correct 1.00
Total 1.00 / 1.00
Question Explanation

Chain voting is where an attacker gives a filled-in ballot (for the attacker’s chosen candidate) to voters. The voter submits this ballot in place of their own, and gives their blank ballot back to the attacker upon leaving the polling station (and collects payment).

This allows an attacker to buy votes and have a reasonable level of certainty that the voters are voting in the attacker’s intended way.

To combat this, ballots could be marked with unique serial numbers, to ensure that the ballot a voter is given is the same one that they submit.

Question 7

How would you reveal how you voted on a mechanical lever voting machine?

Check all that apply.

Your Answer Score Explanation
Lever machines have ballot secrecy; it is impossible to reveal how you voted Correct 0.25 It is possible to violate the strong form of ballot secrecy with lever machines (where the voter willingly reveals how they voted).
Write down how you voted Correct 0.25 What is written down does not have to match how you actually voted.
Post a video from your phone of you voting on YouTube Correct 0.25 Since you could only vote once, recording how you did and showing others would violate your (strong) ballot secrecy.
Participate in a chain voting scheme Correct 0.25 Chain voting only works when ballots are used.
Total 1.00 / 1.00

Question 8

A voting official proposes that all voters should bring a valid passport to the polling place in order to combat voter fraud. Which of the security requirements would this hinder?

Check all that apply.

Your Answer Score Explanation
Enfranchisement Correct 0.20 Not all voters have a valid passport, and requiring it to vote would prohibit some otherwise eligible citizens from voting.
Voter authentication Correct 0.20
Ballot secrecy Correct 0.20
Integrity Correct 0.20
Availability Correct 0.20
Total 1.00 / 1.00

Question 9

What would help combat a corrupt voting official from counting the results incorrectly?

Check all that apply.

Your Answer Score Explanation
Carrying out the counting process in public Correct 0.25 Allowing more parties to verify the claims of a single person improves the transparency and integrity of the process.
Ballot IDs recorded for each voter, and checked on ballot submission Correct 0.25 The corrupt official could still falsify the results at counting time.
Increasing the punishment (fines, jail time) for officials caught miscounting votes Correct 0.25 Increased fines or jail time might make miscounting the results not worth it for a corrupt official on the off chance they are caught.
Placing a seal on the ballot box between the end of voting and counting Correct 0.25 Corrupt official could still misread the votes, or add fake ballots after the seal is opened for counting votes.
Total 1.00 / 1.00

Question 10

Under the strong form of ballot secrecy, you can still prove to others how you voted if you want to
Your Answer Score Explanation
False Correct 1.00
Total 1.00 / 1.00
Question Explanation

Weak form of ballot secrecy: Your vote is only known to you, but it’s possible for you to reveal this to others if you want.

Strong form of ballot secrecy: Your vote is only known to you, even if you want to prove to others how you voted. This is to protect against voter coercion that might cause a voter to «want» to reveal their vote, and against vote buying and selling.

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