DemTech News Feed

Feburary 2017 Demtech Distinguished Talk: Statistical tools to detect fraud in election results
Speaker: Daniel Bochsler, University of Copenhagen
Date: 10. February 2016
Time: 11:00-12:00
Location: ITU 3A08
Over the last couple of decades, elections have become a commonplace in virtually all countries in the world. Even countries, which are by no means democratic (e.g. Eritrea, Russia or Bahrain), regularly hold elections, which resemble - at best - a façade of a democracy. Either, there is no open competition, or the competition is manipulated in favour of the incumbent. The rise of biased elections has been accompanied by a new interest of political campaigners and in academia for statistical methods to detect illegitimate manipulations of elections and/or election results. Different statistical tests have been used to identify anomalies in election results. For instance, they identify polling stations with implausibly high turnout (i.e. where some of the votes might be illegitimate), or to numbers, which are not the result of a regular count, but are ‘made-up’ by election officials. In this talk, I offer an overview over different ways how elections are manipulated, and discuss some of the statistical methods used to detect these manipulations. I highlight a number of caveats. First, fraud can occur in almost all steps of the election process, and in many different ways (cf. Schedler 2002), and each way requires its own methodology to detect it. As each statistical tests are only suited for a particular type of fraud, many instances of manipulations will go unobserved. Second, there might be other processes, ranging from the drawing of district boundaries to strategic voting, which might lead to some perceived anomalies in election results. I discuss these problems, and possible solutions (Leemann & Bochsler 2014). Short bio:
Daniel Bochsler is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen since September 2016. He is also an Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics (Democratisation) at the University of Zurich / Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau. In his research, he investigate how political institutions, esp. elections/election rules and power-sharing, affect political inclusion, polarisation and cooperation in heterogeneous societies. He specialise on countries undergoing transition towards democracy, on Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Webpage:
January 2017 Demtech Talk: The Past and Future of E-voting in the Netherlands
Speaker: Leontine Loeber, Council of State, Netherlands
Date: 20. January 2016
Time: 11:00-12:00
Location: ITU 3A08
This talk is about a case study of the Netherlands, a country that was an early adapter of electronic voting. However, in 2006 a debate on the security and accuracy of both the voting machines and the Internet voting system let to a withdrawal of all forms of electronic voting and a return to paper ballots. Since then several attempts have been undertaken to reintroduce forms of electronic voting. In this talk I will describe what happened in the Dutch case that let to the withdrawal of e-voting and the attempts that have since then be made to re-introduce it. I will highlight what lessons can be learned from the Dutch case. Short bio:
Leontine Loeber works as a legislative lawyer at the Council of State in the Netherlands and is a PhD student at the University of East Anglia.
September 2016 Course on Ethical Hacking
We are organizing a course, where we learn about ethical hacking and security in a relaxed environment. Our aim is to learn to think like an attacker to construct more secure systems... and to have some fun together.
May 2016 Daniel Gustafsson defends dissertation
Daniel Gustafsson has successfully defended his dissertation on Verifying Voting Protocols in CryptoAgda.
April 2016 Demtech Talk: The Design and Analysis of End-to End Verifiable Voting Systems
Speaker: Peter Ryan, University of Luxembourg
Date: 12. April 2015
Time: 13:00
Location: ITU 4A58
Elections form the foundation of democracy, and from the dawn of democracy they have been the target of attack by parties wanting to manipulate the outcome. From a security perspective they constitute a fascinating and fertile terrain to explore. Over time voting systems have evolved various mechanisms to ensure the accuracy of the outcome and guarantee the privacy of votes. However, with the advent of digital technologies a whole raft of new threats have emerged, in many cases introducing possibilities of wholesale fraud. This became particularly acute with the deployment of touch-screen voting devices in the US. Here the the accurate recording and transmission of votes is whole dependent of the correctness of the software running on the devices. Internet voting faces even more severe threats.
Such concerns motivated the crypto and security communities to take up the challenge of making voting secure in the digital era. Particularly over the last decade or so significant strides have been made in the design, analysis and to some extent deployment of so called “end-to-end verifiable” schemes: that provide voters with the means to verify that their vote is accurately counted while avoiding vote-buying or coercion threats. Voting systems are complex polio-technical systems with rich and subtle properties. Virtually all the tricks and tools in the cryptographer’s toolkit have found application here. In this tutorial I will describe the security challenges and present some of the more prominent schemes that have been developed recently, both for in-person and internet voting. I will present some of the key cryptographic mechanisms and the security goals, threat models. In particular i will trace the evolution of the Pret a Voter system from the original concept in 2004 to the vVote system that was deployed for Lower House elections in the State of Victoria in Australia in November 2014. I will conclude with open questions and challenges.
June 2016 Visiting Velux professor
The second is for Philip Stark, University of California at Berkeley, who will be joining us from June 1st for two months.
April 2016 Visiting Velux professor
The Velux foundation has awarded us with two visiting professor positions. The first is for Peter Ryan, University of Luxembourg, who will be joining us from April 1st and the following four months.
February 2016 DemTech seeks Postdoctoral Researcher
DemTech has said goodbye to Nicolas Guenot and Lorena Ronquillo and is now looking for a new postdoctoral researcher to fill their shoes. Read more about the position and apply here.
December 2015 Certification of ICTs in Elections
Carsten Schurmann participated in writing a guide on “Certification of ICTs in Elections” which can now be electronically accessed and shared here.
Print copies will be available from early January.
January 2015 PhD Course: Verifying Security Protocols in Tamarin
We will be offering a PhD mini course at ITU on verifying security protocols using the Tamarin tool. Ralf Sasse from ETHZ Zurich, one of the tool's developers, will join us as a speaker.
Read more about the course.
November 2015 OpenITU Cybersecurity
Demtech's Carsten Schürmann spoke at the OpenITU: Cybersecurity event on November 13 along with Kim Aarenstrup, Head of the National Cyber Crime Center (NC3), and Tonny Raabjerg (CIO) & Rasmus van der Berg from the Danish security company CodeSealer. Carsten's talk was about cybersecurity concerns of online elections. See all talks and the panel debate here.
October 2015
IT University of Copenhagen – in co-operation with TU Darmstadt, Tallinn University of Technology, Gesellschaft für Informatik, and E-Voting.CC – hosted a 2-day PhD seminar on October 8-9, 2015, in Copenhagen. The seminar participants exchanged and discussed current research of PhD students, in particular governance, organisation and technical set-up of both polling station and Internet-based e-voting.
Read more about the seminar here.
September 2015 Demtech Movie
A 24 minutes long movie documenting the decryption ceremony of the 2014 election in Victoria, Australia, presented by Craig Burton.
September 2015 Demtech Talk
Speaker: Thomas Bolander
Date and time: Monday, 28.09.2015, 12:00 - 13:00
Address: IT University of Copenhagen, Rued Langgards Vej 7, Room 3A08
Title: Epistemic Planning: Building Planning Agents with Higher-Order Reasoning Capabilities
Abstract: Automated planning is a major classical branch of artificial intelligence. It deals with the problem of computing sequences of actions (plans) to achieve certain goals. I will present a framework for automated planning based on dynamic epistemic logic (DEL). DEL-based planning generalises classical planning in several significant ways, most notably by giving the planning agents the ability to reason about the knowledge, beliefs and actions of other agents as part of their planning processes. This ability is essential to achieve efficient and intelligent communication and collaboration in multi-agent settings. It also allows agents to make plans to achieve (higher-order) epistemic goals, e.g. to ensure or prevent certain agents to have certain knowledge.
October 2015
The call for papers for E-Voting PhD Seminar, October 8-9, 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark
is published.
August 2015
Carsten Schürmann's slides on the Risk Limiting Audit Pilot in Denmark during the European Parliament election 2014 that he gave at the USENIX JETS 2015 workshop are online.
May 2015 DemTech and Critical Systems Talk
Speaker: Alex Halderman, University of Michigan
Date: Friday, 22.05.2015
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Address: IT University of Copenhagen, Rued Langgards Vej 7, Room 3A08
Title: Logjam
Abstract: Prof Alex Halderman is one of the people behind the discovery of the logjam attack that was published today. He will give a brief overview about how the attack works, and discuss its implications for example, for national security.
RSVP: if you plan to attend. Carsten Schürmann,
Bio: Alex Halderman is Morris Wellman Faculty Development Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan and Director of the Center for Computer Security and Society at University of Michigan. His research focuses on computer security and privacy, with an emphasis on problems that broadly impact society and public policy.
May 2015
Lorena Ronquillo gave a guest lecture in ITU's security course. You can find her slides here .
May 2015
Alex Halderman and Carsten Schürmann will give a Science and Cocktails talk on Securing Digital Democracy. All are welcome. Date: 19. May, 2015. Time: 20:00. Location: Byens Lys Christiania (Carsten's slides pdf, powerpoint).
April 2014
DemTech has published its 2014 Newsletter. Read it here.
April 2015 DemTech talk
Speaker: Douglas Wikström, KTH Stockholm, Sweden
Title: A Mix-Net From Any CCA2 Secure Cryptosystem
Abstract: We construct a provably secure mix-net from any CCA2 secure cryptosystem. The mix-net is secure against active adversaries that statically corrupt less than l out of k mix-servers, where l is a threshold parameter, and it is robust provided that at most min(l-1,k-l) mix-servers are corrupted.
The main component of our construction is a mix-net that outputs the correct result if all mix-servers behaved honestly, and aborts with probability 1-O(M^{-(t-1)}) otherwise (without disclosing anything about the inputs), where t is an auxiliary security parameter and M is the number of honest parties. The running time of this protocol for long messages is roughly 3tc, where c is the running time of Chaum's mix-net (1981).
April 2015
Carsten Schürmann gave a talk on mathematical models. Slides.
March 2015
Carsten Schürmann was invited and attended the 12th European Conference of the Electoral Management Bodies addressing the following topics: ENSURING NEUTRALITY, IMPARTIALITY AND TRANSPARENCY IN ELECTIONS and THE ROLE OF ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BODIES.
March 2015
DemTech is organizing a Workshop on Democracy in the Digital Age from March 16 - March 20, 2015. For more information click here.
March 2015 DemTech talk
Speaker: Christian Probst, DTU, Denmark
Title: Insider Threats and Social Engineering
Abstract:Insider threats are a major threat against organisations and IT systems. In most cases, insiders have better knowledge about an organisaton's assets, policies, and workflows, and have authorized access to many of these. Therefore, actions by a malicious insider are usually hard to detect. Social engineering is often used by attackers to get insiders to perform actions, which they should not perform but are authorized to do. In this talk I will give examples for insider threats and social engineering, discuss different definitions of insiders, and present some models of how to deal with insider threats.
February 2015
On mission to Estonian Parliamentary election. Olivier Belanger, Lorena Ronquillo and Carsten Schürmann observed the Riigikogu (Parliamentary) Elections in Tallinn, Estonia on March 1st. Olivier Belanger attended the E-voting PhD Seminar preceeding the event as well. For more information click here.
February 2015 DemTech talk Speaker: Yvonne Dittrich
IT University of Copenhagen
Title: What does it mean to use method? Towards a Practice Theory for Software Engineering
Abstract: Methods, processes and tools and tools to support them are at the heart of Software Engineering as a discipline. However, as we all know, their use does not necessarily result in homogeneous, predictable software projects. What is lacking is an understanding of how methods inform software development. In the talk, I will apply and develop the set of concepts based on the practice-concept in philosophy of sociology to describe and understand methods and their application. Practice here is not understood as opposed to theory, but as a commonly agreed on way of acting, which is acknowledged by the team. The results and steps in the philosophical argumentation are exemplified using published empirical research. Methods are defined as practice patterns that need to be related to and integrated in an existing development practice. The application of a method is developed as a 'development of practice'. This practice is in certain aspects aligned with the description of the method, but a method always under-defines practice. The implication for research, industrial software development and teaching are outlined. The theoretical/philosophical concepts allow explaining the heterogeneity in application of software engineering methods and are in line with empirical research results.
January 2015
Carsten Schürmann joined IEEE 1622.6, Voting Systems Standards Committee (VSSC) Voting Methods Mathematical Models Working Group.
January 2015
Carsten Schürmann attended a talk on Perspectives on Crisis and Conflicts in the World at UN-City, Copenhagen. The talk was given by Grete Faremo, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UNOPS.
December 2014
Carsten Schürmann is lecturing on logical frameworks at the ANU Logic Summer School in Canberra, ACT, Australia.
November 2014
DemTech's Carsten Schürmann and Jari Kickbusch attended the shuffling and decryption ceremony at the Victoria Electoral Commission (VEC), Melbourne, Australia, today. More than a 1000 electronic votes were shuffled, decrypted and printed to be included in the count for the Victoria State Election. Read more here.
November 2014
The DemTech Group examined the electronic voting system of the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC). Our report can be accessed from the EAV-detailed information page of the VEC.
November 2014
The International IDEA publication on The Use of Open Source Technology in Elections is now online.
October 2014
Carsten Schürmann participated at the ICT Proposals' Day and event organized by the European Commission that focuses on the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2015 in the field of Information & Communication Technologies.
October 2014
Several members of DemTech participated in October 29-31 in the 6th International Conference on Electronic Voting. EVOTE is considered one of the leading international events for e-voting experts, which provides a forum for interdisciplinary and open discussion of all issues related to electronic voting, from both a theoretical perspective and a practical one. The conference was held in the beautiful renaissance castle of Hofen, at Lochau/Bregenz, on the shores of the Lake Constance in Austria.
This edition gathered around 100 participants from 33 different countries, including practitioners, decision makers, vendors and researchers. In a session devoted to Trust in Electronic Elections, Randi, Lorena and Carsten presented their interdisciplinary work “Trust in Internet Election: Observing the Norwegian Decryption and Counting Ceremony”. The paper, published in the corresponding proceedings, discusses from a pragmatic approach to trust how witnessing is brought about in the public event that took place within the internet voting trial of the Norwegian parliamentary elections of 2013, in which the electronic votes were decrypted and counted in front of an audience.
Prior to the main conference, a one-day PhD Colloquium also took place in the same venue, where Olivier had the opportunity to discuss his ongoing research on the relation between e-voting and election observation.
September 2014
Carsten Schürmann together with Michael Clouser, Robert Krimmer, Henrik Nore, and Peter Wolf wrote an International IDEA publication on The Use of Open Source Technology in Elections.
August 2014
Carsten Schürmann was one of four experts invited to the NemId Visionarium at Version2, discussing the next generation of Denmark's national ID infrastructure.
June 2014
DemTech organized a scientific session at ESOF 2014 on the topic Democracy in the digital age: computational aspects of voting systems
June 2014
Robert Krimmer is visting DemTech. He will give a talk about the challenges of observing new voting technologies. The talk will take place on Friday, June 20, 2014, 12:00 in 2A08.
June 2014
Democracy and technology seminar: Center for Health and Society (CSS) in Copenhagen is arranging a seminar today on democracy and technology. Alex Haldermann, who is known for his work on election security, and Carsten Schürmann from DemTech will give talks about Estonian internet voting and risk limiting audits respectively. Kasper Møller Hansen and Jonas Hedegaard Hansen from the Political Science faculty at Copenhagen University will give a presentation on applying information from digital voting lists in turnout studies.
May 2014
DemTech is running a pilot on risk-limiting audits during the European Parliament election.
More information.
May 2014
In May 2014, DemTech organized the third DemTech Workshop on Danish Elections, Trust, and Technology for the Mongolian Election Commission Meeting 2014. We had presentations by Associate Prof. Carsten Schürmann (Principal Investigator DemTech), Mrs. Altanjargal Batnyam, (Member and General Secretary, General Election Commission of Mongolia), Assistant Prof. Nina Boulus-Rødje (ITU), Associate Prof. Randi Markussen (ITU), Prof. David Basin (ETH Zurich), and Prof. Philip Stark (University of California, Berkeley).
For more information, click here.
April 2014
DemTech organized a PhD course on Code Scanning. This course was intended for PhD students and advanced Master students and it was designed to give an introduction to formal methods, teach the basics of code scanning theory, and allow students to gain first-hand experience with the state of the art code scanners. Code scanners are tools that inspect source code automatically for bugs, security problems and other issues. They are often used to evaluate software used in safety critical systems. Contingent on our ability to secure licenses, we discussed five different tools, such as Coverity, Fortify, Code Sonar, AppScan, and FindBugs. The course was organized in two parts. The first part took place in April, where the organizers gave several lectures about the formal underpinnings of code scanners. During the last lecture we presented some sample code, and assigned (groups of) students to tools.
Read more here
December 2013
We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher in formal methods, software engineering or related topics such as programming languages and distributed systems.
Application closed.
April 2014
DemTech Distinguished Lecture
Speaker: Prof. Stark, Professor and Chair of Statistics, University of California, Berkeley.
Title: Risk Limiting Audits of Parliamentary Elections
Abstract: Risk-limiting audits have a pre-specified minimum probability of correcting incorrect electoral outcomes. The risk limit is the maximum chance that an incorrect outcome is not corrected by the audit. Risk-limiting audits have been conducted in the USA for plurality contests in Ohio and Colorado, and for plurality, majority, super-majority, and "vote-for-n" contests in California. There are two basic approaches to risk-limiting audits, both of which involve inspecting randomly selected records from an audit trail in search of strong statistical evidence that the apparent outcome is correct. Absent strong evidence, they lead to a full hand count, which reveals the correct outcome. Ballot-polling audits use the audit trail alone; comparison audits compare hand counts of randomly selected groups of ballots to reported results for those ballots. Comparison audits are more complex and make more demands on the voting system, but--if the groups for which reported results are available are sufficiently small--can require inspecting fewer ballots than ballot-polling audits when the apparent outcome is indeed correct. Quite recently, the theory of risk-limiting audits was extended to ballot-polling and comparison audits of parliamentary elections like those in Denmark. The calculations required to conduct such audits involve only simple arithmetic, but there can be a fair amount of bookkeeping if there are many parties and many seats.
September 2013
We are looking for enthusiastic students to work on student projects that are directly relevant to DemTech research. You offer an international and exciting working environment and access to real-world data, and real world systems. Help us make a difference!
September 2013
DemTech in Norway to follow internet election trials. Carsten Schürmann, Randi Markussen and Lorena Ronquillo were present when online votes were decrypted and counted for Norwegian Parliamentary Election. The day before Election Day, the three researchers attended a Seminar on internet voting and the Norwegian electoral system.
12 municipalities with a total of 250.000 eligible voters participated in the trails. The voters in the 12 municipalities were also given the opportunity to vote with a paper ballot in a regular polling station.
70.622 of the 250.000 eligible voters cast their vote online.
September 2013
DemTech Reading Group: Cryptographic Voting Protocols
This semester we will discuss foundations and aspects of cryptographic voting protocols in the DemTech Reading Group.
September 2013
DemTech Distinguished Lecture
Speaker: Ian Brightwell, Director IT and CIO, New South Wales Electoral Commission, Australia
Title: Why is Internet Voting a Governance Project and not a Technology Project?
September 2013
DemTech Distinguished Lecture
Speaker: Prof. David Basin, ETH Zurich
Title: Developing Security Protocols by Refinement?
Abstract: We describe an approach to developing security protocols by step-wise refinement. Its core is a refinement strategy that guides the transformation of abstract security goals into protocols that are secure when operating over an insecure channel. The refinement steps successively introduce local states, an adversary, communication channels with security properties, and cryptographic operations realizing these channels. The abstractions we use provide insights on how the protocols work and foster the development of families of protocols sharing a common structure and properties. In contrast to post-hoc verification methods, we develop protocols together with their correctness proofs. We have implemented our approach in Isabelle/HOL and used it to develop a number of entity authentication and key transport protocols.
(Joint work with Christoph Sprenger, ETH Zurich)
June 2013
Starting September 2013 Steffen Dalsgaard will be a member of The Young Academy of Denmark (Det Unge Akademi). The Young Academy is a section for young talented scholars under the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters. Its purpose is to strengthen basic research and the interdisciplinary exchange, bridging the gap between science and society - and to give a united voice to some of the most excellent young scientists in Denmark.
June 2013
Carsten Schürmann gave a talk at CADE 2013 in Lake Placid, USA. Carsten presented a joint paper with Bernhard Beckert (KIT) and Rajeev Gore (ANU) on Analysing Vote Counting Algorithms Via Logic at CADE-13 in Lake Placid, USA]. Click here for the slides.
June 2013
The wait is over. Finally another Twelf tutorial, this time collocated with CADE 2013 in Lake Placid, NY.
June 2013
Carsten Schürmann gave his talk on Certifying Voting Protocols at the AR-SEC 2013 workshop in Lake Placid, USA. Click here for the slides.
May 2013
Carsten Schürmann to talk at the Egypt-US Cyber Security workshop in Cairo, Egypt. Carsten gave a talk on Certifying Voting Protocols at the Egypt-US Cyber Security Workshop. Click here for the slides.
April 2013
Distinguished DemTech Lecture
Speaker: Sherif El Tokali, Assistant Resident Representative of the UNDP-Egypt
Abstract: Throughout the past decade United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has collaborated with the Government of Egypt (GOE) represented by its different ministries, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) as well as the Private Sector to positively contribute to a sustainable socioeconomic development in Egypt through the use of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). In specific, the collaboration between UNDP and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is considered one of the most successful partnerships which resulted in the formulation and implementation of a number of nationally executed ICT projects in Egypt. Many of these projects did spin-off successfully. Today, the collaboration between UNDP and MCIT is geared towards improving the overall electronic readiness of the youth, women, people with special needs, and civil society organizations and increasing entrepreneurship, Education and Innovation, E- Health. Click here for the slides.
April 2013
Joseph Kiniry, DTU Compute, guest professor at ITU will debate Jacob Scjødt Nielsen, The Danish Board of Technology, at TEKNOFO on Saving Democracy from Technology. eVote – a choice for the future?
Read the full talk descriptions.
DemTech Researchers Schürmann and Kiniry Participate in the Second Hearing on Bill L-132 in the Parliament
13. March 2013
Watch the parliament hearing.
DemTech Press Release: Experiments in E-voting are a Good Idea
8. February 2013
In response to the discussion that took place in Parliament yesterday (7 February) at the first hearing on the evoting bill, DemTech has issued a press release re-emphasizing the main points of our response to the Ministry (høringssvar).
Read the full press release here.
Version2 covers Joe's inaugural lecture "Saving Democracy from Technology"
4. February 2013
Version2, Denmark's main technology newspaper, covered Joe's inaugural lecture.
Prof. Kiniry's inaugural lecture "Saving Democracy from Technology"
1. February 2013
Prof. Joseph Kiniry's inaugural lecture, "Saving Democracy from Technology", took place at the Technical University of Denmark on Friday, 1 February 2013.
The talk was streamed over the internet to around 40 people, as well as recorded, via Adobe Connect and can be watched here. Slides and photos are available via the KindSoftware website. Joe is answering questions via Twitter and Facebook.
COST/ACTION Computational Social Choice
16. January 2013
Carsten Schürmann has joined the management committee of the COST/ACTION IC1205 on Computational Social Choice.
Read more abotu COST/ACTION IC1205 here.
IT professionals warn the danes against electronic elections
11. January 2013
In the light of the coming treatment of the law on electronic elections Version2 publishes a number of articles about e-election. Carsten Schürmann from DemTech explains the delicacy and complexity of such IT-systems.
See link and press coverage here.
DemTech Feedback to the Draft Law amending the Law on General Elections, Election Act
17. December 2012
As posted previously the Danish government ​proposed a bill on electronic elections. The ministry called for a hearing on the proposal to which DemTech now has replied.
Read more here.
An Executive Summary of the State-of-Affairs in Computer-Based Voting in Denmark
Read the entire summary here.
Draft Law amending the Law on General Elections, Election Act of Danish members of the European Parliament and the Law on Local Government Elections (Digital voting and counting)
16. November 2012
The proposed changes to election law in Denmark were published for public consultation on 16 November 2012. The DemTech project was formally requested to provide feedback. We will publish our feedback here in mid-December, 2012.
Report on technical dialogue on e-voting system in Denmark
October 2012
Following the requests of 12 municipalities in Denmark the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Interior have had technical dialogues with seven different economic operators. The report emphasizes a modular approach since "the greatest risks or disadvantages of introducing and employing e-voting and/or electronic counting is not so 3 much a question of technology flaws or security issues, but more of perception and trust". It also states that implementing electronic elections are not "fool proof" and that protection agains malfunction and manipulation should be considered when drawing up future e-voting/e-counting solutions.
The report concludes that no two systems are alike and that Denmark has to "make choices" with regards to the actual implementations. Some of the core questions rised are: Which solution fits the needs of the municipalities the best? Should the ballot be printed in physical form or should it be kept digital?
The full report can be found here.
DemTech on Twitter - ​@DemTechDK
11. October 2012
DemTech has gotten its very own ​Twitter account where we will post news about research and events in the world of electronic voting. Follow us on ​@DemTechDK.
The First DemTech Nordic-Baltic Workshop on Voter Verified Elections
5. October 2012
The workshop has been held and proved a great success. 33 academics, project leaders, officials and many others from as far as Turkey and USA participated in the debate on future Voter Verified Elections.
Read more here.
Security Analysis of Scantegrity System
October 2012
As his bachelor thesis Amir Rached studied the Scantegrity voting system. Scantegrity uses an optical scanner to improve the security on common electronic voting systems. Amir found, however, that there was a large gap between the theory presented by David Chaum et al. (see reference 1 and 2 below) and the actual implementation found at the Scantegrity website.
The full paper can be read here.
  1. David Chaum et al., Scantegrity II: End-to-end Verifiability for Optical Scan Election Systems using Invisible Ink Confirmation Codes (html) or (pdf).
  1. David Chaum et al., Scantegrity: End-to-end voter-verifiable optical- scan voting (pdf).
Preliminary Research Notes on the 2011 Danish Parliamentary election
21. September 2012
Nina Boulus Rødje and Christopher Gad have authored a report containing reflections on selected impressions and observations primarily made from August 26th to September 17th during the preparation and execution of the Danish parliamentary election in 2011 in the three biggest municipalities in Denmark: Aarhus, Frederiksberg and Copenhagen.
Read more here.
Talk: When the computer came to Denmark
15. September 2012
Christian Gram from the Danish Datahistorical Society will be talking about the beginning of the 'IT-age' in Denmark. Among other things he will mention the Danish DASK-machine which was, among other things, used by the Ministry of Interior Affairs to calculate the distribution of mandates for elections.
The talk will be held the 15. september 2012 at 14:00, at the Post og Tele Museum, Købmagergade 37, 1150 Copenhagen. The talk will be held in Danish.
Dr. Cochran's defence
11. September 2012

ITU PhD student Dermot Cochran successfully defended his PhD thesis on Monday, 10 September 2012. Dermot's work is directly relevant to DemTech as he focused on the means by which one might design, develop, validate, and verify electronic tally systems. Congratulations, Dr. Cochran!
Talk: Security architectures for smartphones
10. September 2012
This talk by Dan Wallach from Rice University considers several problems regarding third-party applications and smartphone security. Modern smartphones allow a variety of third-party applications to run on them, creating a delicate dance between usability and trust. Without burdening the user with security dialogs, apps must have enough privilege to get their job done, yet with suitable isolation from other possibly hostile apps.
Read more here.
Talk: E-voting in Australia: Academics versus the Electoral Commissioners
20. August 2012
In this talk at the IT-University in Copenhagen, Rajeev Gore from the Research School of Computer Science, Australian National University, will outline the current initiatives and concerns regarding electronic voting in Australia at the state level.
Read more here.
Postdoc positions available
28. June 2012
NB: The deadline for this position has passed.
The DemTech project has technical postdoc positions open. The deadline for applications is 23 July. For more information, see the ITU vacancies website.
E-election to be tested in 13 municipalities
11. June 2012
Today the Ministry of Economic and Interior affairs announced a formal agreement to examine the possibilities of electronic elections in Denmark together with DemTech. The project will span the elections in the Danish municipalities 2013. So far 13 municipalities have expressed an interest in the new election technologies and if the project succeeds, DemTech will be able to collect unique insight in the aspects of electronic voting.
Margrethe Vestager, the Minster of Economic and Interior affairs, pointed out three areas where electronic elections could help improve the process: "We will get rid of the pile of invalid ballots, where the polling staff are unable to deduce what the voter voted. A second advantage is for the visually impaired who vote without aid". Third the municipalities can limit the resources spent on counting the votes if the electronic processes takes over.
Preliminary reflections on efforts to digitize the Danish electoral system
30. May 2012
Christopher Gad held a presentation at the conference in the Danish Association of Science and Technology Studies (DASTS) entitled The digital darling: Preliminary reflections on efforts to digitize the Danish electoral system. The talk addressed the efforts in DemTech and to what extent the digitalization challenges democratic transparency. More information can be found at the program for the conference.
E-elections in Denmark - how?
14-15 May 2012
In collaboration with The Danish Board of Technology and DemTech, The Danish Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Interior held a workshop entitled E-elections in Denmark - how? (Danish: E-valg i Danmark - hvordan?) on the 15th of May 2012 (link).
Read more here.
External Advisory Board & Steering Committee
10. May 2012
The DemTech External Advisory Board (EAB) and Steering Committee meetings took place on Thursday, the 10th of May. Several talks were given by the DemTech personnel.
Read more here.
Researchers met with the KMD election team
27. April 2012
DemTech researchers met with the KMD election team at the IT University. DemTech key researchers explained their vision behind DemTech, DemTech industry partners described the nature of teir partnership, and the leader of the KMD election team gave a talk about the role the KMD plays in the current Danish electoral system.
DemTech welcomes site visits of interested stakeholders and encourages industry to take advantage of their findings and the open source software. DemTech is funded by den strategiske Forskningsrådet and the IT University of Copenhagen.
Joe Kiniry gave a talk today about Formal Methods in Software Engineering (Sensible Rigor) available here.
New PhD student
1. February 2012
Daniel Gustafsson is joining the DemTech as a PhD student, starting February 1. He has received a Master degree from Chalmers University. Welcome Daniel.
Velux Visiting Professor
25. January 2012
Prof. Gopalan Nadathur, a Velux Visiting Professor will be visiting the group from mid February for several months. He will also teach a PhD course. Stay tuned for more information.
IFES Report 6/11
9. January 2012
In June 2011, IFES (International Foundation for Electoral Systems) published a report entitled: Electronic Voting & Counting Technologies: Guide to Conducting Feasibility Studies.
IDEA report 12/11
9. January 2012
Here a link to an IDEA (Institute for Democracy and Electroal Assistance) report: Introducing Electronic Voting: Essential Considerations.
Danish Technology Board E-elections Report
24. December 2011
DemTech project members have written an unofficial English translation of the core of the Danish Technology Board’s report “E-elections - a choice for the future?”.
The public is welcome to comment upon this translation and the DTB's report contents itself.
DemTech is writing a critical technical response to this report. In short, some of the recommendations align with international best practices, but many do not.
Please see the following Google Document for the translation: E-elections - a choice for the future? The document is configured so that anyone can comment.
Two new post-doctoral researchers
24. December 2011
We are very excited that two new post doctoral researcher will join the project. David Baelde will start on January 1, 2012, and Nicolas Pouillard on February 1, 2012.
Sweden experimenting with e-voting
Newsmill, 27 Oct 2011
Inspired, in part, by Norway's recent trials, Sweden has proposed that they should experiment with e-voting as well.
An article from e-voting scientist David Bismark was published ​online today.
DemTech Kick-off Event
28. September 2011
The DemTech Kick-off Event took place on the 28th of September 2011 in Christiansborg. The event was a success. We had around 70 attendees, talks by Carsten, Randi and Joe, a handful of prominent guests and good press coverage.
Read about the event here.
SDG DemTech Update lunch talk
20 September 2011
Joe gave a talk to the Software Development Group at ITU entitled "Reflections on Voting in Denmark and a DemTech Update".
It was about the DemTech project, its current status, and his reflections on Danish elections after being an election observer in this September's Parliamentary elections.
New Science Project Examines Electronic Elections on DR P1
Randi Markussen has given an interview in connection with DemTech's kick-off meeting in Christiansborg on ​DR P1 Orientering.
Aion Demonstration
2 Sep 2011
In these weeks before the election, and on election day itself, our private partners, Aion and Siemens, are conducting a demonstration of prototype e-voting equipment that they have designed and constructed prior to DemTech being formed. This demonstration has been planned for many months before these industrial partners joined DemTech.
DemTech wishes to make it perfectly clear that we researchers/academics have little to do with this demonstration. We have reflected upon the design of the demonstration, have been given several demos of the systems, and members of our team have reflected upon the design of the questionnaire which is being sent to citizens who experimentally vote on the system, but we have had no hand in the design or development of the e-voting hardware itself.
Given the above, as we did not design the demonstration and it is "pre-DemTech", we have no vested interest in, or bearing on, the demonstration or the data collected in the course of the demonstation.
We are, of course, like other members of the public, interested in the general results of the questionnaire and we look forward to its publication. Witnessing how our industry partners are conducting the demonstration and gathering citizens' reactions to e-voting systems will be quite valuable to our performing these actions ourselves, in concert with our partners, in the future.
- Carsten Schürmann, Joseph Kiniry, Randi Markussen
Using complexity to protect elections
Communications of the ACM, 30 Nov 2010
Computational complexity may truly be the shield against election manipulation.
Authors: Piotr Faliszewski, Edith Hemaspaandra, Lane A. Hemaspaandra
Communications of the ACM
Vol. 53 No. 11, Pages 74-82
Link to article.
D.C. Vote Hacking
Washington Post, October 30, 2010
Link: "In D.C.'s Web Voting Test, the Hackers Were the Good Guys"
Washington, D.C. held an Internet voting experiment in September during which a team of University of Michigan hackers successfully penetrated election computers and rigged the electoral outcome, demonstrating the extreme national security hazards of online voting, write SRI International computer scientist Jeremy Epstein, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher David Jefferson, and former ACM president Barbara Simons.
Bismark TED talk
TED talks, 1 Dec 2010
David Bismark demos pret-a-voter as a TED talk. Link.