Electronic Voting and Voting Tokens

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In order to participate in electronic voting, you will be asked to provide a "voting token". This article explains what a voting token is, and how it's used.

Ballot stuffing is a major concern in any form of electronic voting, and our elections are no exception. All party members should be allowed to vote -- and we hope they do -- but voting should be limited to those who are members when an election takes place (see Articles of Agreement, Article 2.1 for the definition of Membership). Voting tokens are a way of achieving that goal.

A voting token is a random string of letters and numbers. Voting tokens are sent (e.g. via email) to each member before an election. When the election ends, we'll save the set of tokens issued, and delete any information that would allow us to tie a token to any particular member. From there, we count the votes.

At this point, it should be pretty easy to see how voting tokens work: a token acts as proof of membership. Ballots without a valid token are discarded, and a single token cannot be used on two or more ballots. Because the tokens are long random strings, it's unlikely that someone will be able to guess a valid token.

Electronic voting is a hard problem, and there's a balance between election integrity and voter anonymity. We settled on this approach after deliberation, and we welcome feedback or suggestions for improvement.