CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy

This speaker series is made possible by an anonymous charitable donation in memory of cypherpunks and privacy advocates Len Sassaman, Hugh Daniel, Hal Finney, and Caspar Bowden.

View the list of past and upcoming speakers

Elections with both Privacy and Integrity

Josh Benaloh, Microsoft Research

[Download (MP4)] [View on Youtube]

March 13, 2017 2:30pm, in DC 1304


Verifiable election technologies enable secret-ballot elections to be conducted in such a way as to allow individual voters to check that their votes have been properly counted—without compromising privacy or subjecting themselves to coercion. These technologies eliminate the need to place trust in equipment, vendors, or even election officials.

This talk will describe the ideas and mechanisms that make verifiable elections possible and examine some of the instantiations and deployments. We can have elections that both preserve voter privacy and achieve strong, publicly-verifiable integrity.


Josh Benaloh is Senior Cryptographer at Microsoft Research and an elected director of the International Association for Cryptologic Research. He earned an S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University where his 1987 dissertation "Verifiable Secret-Ballot Elections" introduced the first use of homomorphic encryption. Dr. Benaloh spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto and nearly five years as an Assistant Professor at Clarkson University before joining Microsoft where his research focuses on multi-party protocols, elections, and crypto policy.

Outside of cryptography, Dr. Benaloh recently completed two years as chair of the Citizen Oversight Panel for the Sound Transit agency which is currently spending about $1 billion per year developing transit infrastructure in the Seattle region. He has also authored numerous puzzles for Seattle area puzzle events and competitions.