DOI link for Electronic Voting
Electronic Voting book
A few steps from the rock of Acropolis in the city of Athens, in 1937, a team of archeologists found 190 “ostraca” bearing the name of Themistocles. Ostracism was a very important voting procedure in classic Athens that also played its role in local politics as a method of neutralizing political opponents. Indeed, exile through popular vote can be quite handy if it is directed to the leader of the opposing party! Something particularly intriguing in the case of the 190 votes favoring the ousting of Themistocles was that the ostraca were all written by a small number of people . The archeological finding may suggest an attempt of organizing Themistocles’ ostracism by his political opponents: if nothing else more sinister, these looked like prepared ballots that could be distributed to citizens that had no interest, no knowledge of writing, or no time to participate in the procedure with their own materials. With the limit of 6000 to get the exile approved, 190 more would definitely help. It seems that there is no doubt that attempting to influence the outcome of a voting procedure is as old as democracy itself! The only difference is that today instead of ostraca we intend to implement voting procedures by employing computers. Nevertheless, the chances that one of the contesting sides is tempted to influence the outcome seems to remain the same. This is the subject of this chapter.