Microsoft aims to make voting secure and more efficient in the United States or in democratic nations around the world. In line with its goal, the software company has now reported the success of the first real-world test of its open source Electionguard voting machine software platform.
“Yesterday we piloted #ElectionGuard for the first time in an election in Fulton, WI. The ElectionGuard encrypted tally matched the official hand-counted tally and, shortly after the polls closed, voters were able to verify their votes were counted through ElectionGuard,” Tom Burt, Microsoft CVP Customer Security and Trust, tweeted on Wednesday.
ElectionGuard, first announced in May 2019, is open source software aimed at making elections more secure and end-to-end verifiable. It is not intended to replace paper ballots but rather to supplement and improve systems that rely on them, Microsoft earlier said.
ElectionGuard is said to democratize the ability to verify election results by enabling direct public confirmation of the accuracy of those results. It uses something called homomorphic encryption – which enables mathematical procedures – like counting – to be done with fully encrypted data.
In addition to the public verification enabled by ElectionGuard, the SDK explicitly supports an enhanced form of statistical administrative auditing.