This document describes the design and implementation details of the system that allows Decidim to perform secure online and physical elections. A system of this kind has competing requirements: resisting tampering and keeping the data integrity and secrecy of the voters preferences on one side, and enforcing participants confidence through individual and global verifications on the other.
To address a challenge like this, the existing solutions are based on division of responsibilities between different parts to avoid tampering, the use of voting protocols to safeguard the sensitive data and the highest possible level of transparency to increase public confidence in the election output. The designed solution applies these principles to the Decidim specific technical environment.
All of these features increase the complexity of the software to design and develop, transforming a basic polls module into a whole system composed by several parts that must coordinate and communicate in a secure and reliable way.
The aim of this document is to share with the Decidim development community the knowledge needed to be able to maintain, improve and expand the current implementation. It’s recommended to have a good understanding of the system features before reading this document. If that’s not the case, reading the User manual first should help.