We are developping a system (code named xVote) for the democratic
evoting (i.e. voting by Internet).
In a few words, xVote is the design the first true electronic voting
system or by
You can discover (in French), some technical or others
non-technical, some illustrated,
xVote. As an example, from
the point of
view of the citizen* or
according to the position of the
- it respects absolutely and unconditionally the secrecy of
voting, the voter's anonymity and the confidentiality of the ballot.
it is remarkably secure, it follows the norms, the standards and the
most high-tech protocols, it guarantees the integrity and authenticity
of the voter's motivation,
it has a rich and strong cryptographic key hierarchy.
is totally transparent, its publication is complete, its political
control is constant, the process of the voter is key element, it builds
the evidence of good end.
- it covers all the needs of
Public Administration, it allows the management of the session, the
full resolution of claims and disputes.
- it is pleasant to use, very flexible in its use and full of
rich opportunities for citizens.
See also (in English) the general
schematic and his legend.
(*) The 8th and final page -a flyer (in English)-
shows that xVote
follows the strong criteria of
a democratic electronic voting.
Finally you could discover (in English) the presentation of
various ways of
using its client side, the pattern of its structure on the
voter's computer (within a Virutal Machine on an hypervisor), or how to use it
Firstly, for information, as this is important to value our offer's
Switzerland is a semi-direct democracy (with a three state's levels, as
in the USA*), and the citizens can monitor closely the government** and
vote usualy four times a year (and each time on six to fifteen items).
Three fourth of the swiss people are heavy internet users. So, the
know-how on voting and e-something is strong here. But, we designed the
xVote system to be not swiss-bound, and it could be used in every
(*) in fact, the two states' structures and even the two
constitutions (and the citizens' spirit or the market's conception) are
very similar between the USA and the Switzerland, only the scale is
clearly different. The founder fathers of the US came to the
Switzerland to see our (old) system, and mid-19e century our new
constitution's writers went to the USA to see yours, so the
(**) with the initiative right -to add a new law- or the referendum
right -to fight a law proposal of the parliament. Each at the
municipal, local state or federal state levels.
And, some words about my own background :
I studied mathematics in the university of Geneva. After years of
experience in the industry and banking, in the strategy and in the
security field, I had the opportunity to study the three existing
pilote Swiss systems of electronic voting and found that it was
possible to create a better architecture, which really protects the
secrecy and is fully accountable, and to reenforce the security and
usability of such a system. I created so a complete concept with the
architecture, the protocol and the implementation principles of a new,
better and more secured Internet voting system.
translation of my C.V (html)
french version (pdf).
A few words about the short document (please, click here
to read it), which present the various ways how to use de client part of xVote.
The main ways are using either a local virtual machine (with an
hypervisor on the citizen's computer) or a remote virtual machine
(virtual desktop) on a full blown server.
The local hypervisor (VirtualBox) use is in the first and third alternatives (full and P2P
VM), the second use (VD) is with another hypervisor (KVM) on a robust cluster of servers.
The two illustrations are clickable to enlarge.
Beware, this doc discuss only the very front end part of xVote ! A lot
of documents show others parts of the system (but not very internal
Inside the local or remote VM, and on all servers, the software run into Mono.
By the way, the server(s) part -two main clusters and some additional
services- uses also intensively virtualization.
Since the exploitation phase, the VD service (four lines above) and the
two clusters of servers (last line above) could be run within the other products, with a datacenter
Note : the VD channel is designed also toward netbooks, mobile internet
appliances and smartphones; about the last platforms ITU announced that
at the end of this year their will be 4 billons of mobile phones, and
recently Ballmer said that in five to ten years, all billion mobile
phones sold a year will be smartphones.
xVote is fully designed, with all the conception, architecture,
protocole, methodology, organization, tools, libraries,
infrastructures, services, appended software, systems, etc.
I shall write more on this in a next message.
As a first glimpse of the status of xVote, you could read a short document
about the ten principles (or criteria) of a democratic voting system on which xVote was designed. Note that
if, in the
right column of the upper table, are the links to the swiss law
register, these are the same criteria in all democratic countries.
On the opposite of a real democratic voting means, are the three cantonal pilotes which are challenged on those criteria.
As a second glimpse of the status of xVote, you could read a
sort of small and rough business plan for the public
market and only the Switzerland one (as said, xVote is also valuable
for the private sector and the other democratic* countries). The Swiss
public market is simply a test and reference market.
Hints : one swiss franc is 0.926 USD. Outside Switzerland, the vote is
less frequent, but the cost of the ballot is about three times higher
and the population is largely bigger. In Switzerland, about 80 to 97%
of the citizens vote already remotely, by the postal service. The
organization of the vote is the burden of the local states (cantons).
(*) as a NGO-executive said jokingly to me "as xVote cannot
be cheated, it will not interest the authorities in some well known
Those two documents are freshly and quickly translated for you in English
-it's only a draft translation, really sorry. But that will be enough
to have a good understanding of the qualities and assets of xVote, and
to have an insight of the deep design and the high level of its
schematic thoughts about the rentability (in the last doc above) are
based on my extensive experience with the
know-how from my deep studies on this subject, and close contacts
with the authorities.
A local state's main minister (VS) wrote to us "I can only
you and your evoting project"
A local state's IT manager (FR) said to us that the xVote
would be a must for them, as the system is so (interestingly) high
Another local state's votation higher executive (VD) said to us
they appreciate the OSS licence, as a political asset, but they would
only take a commercial licence, with the support.
A French minister said to me "if the Switzerland chooses an eVoting
system, as this country is so conservative and perfectionnist, we will
take immediatly the same one".
But, I know that the costs and rentability calculation is not my cup of
tea, and that you Keith, as a business developpement expert, you would
clearly do a much better job than I did !
BTW : At the end of august, we won a local state's political fight
(against the main evoting pilote), and the next week we will openly
enter the federal politic arena.
I'm looking of much more than the supply of only a single product (eg VBx).
It's much more in quantity, and, it's much more in capacity.
As you could have seen in the last mails and docs, the vision is to
give, to the democratic countries, the first real electronic voting
(remote by Internet or local* at the voting booth), that follows all
the fondamental criteria, that is provable and transparent. A system,
which the public administrations could exploit themselves or outsource
to local companies (or foundations).
(*) with mobile internet, that will be with instant remote gathering.
The concerned population is not the one of a high school campus or a
corporation's headquarter, it's for entiere countries. Eg, for each one
of America, Europa, Brasil or India, even with half participation, and
-on this- half electronic voters, the potential users must be counted
by tens of millions.
Such a service, which must serve literally millions of users, on a
short peak (but not often), with absolute availability, without any
loss or security hole, must be build on robust tools.
-- nota bene : a failure, a loss or a successful attack, will be the
next day in the newscast at prime time ... but a task properly
completed will lead to a big market and a huge general reference.
So, we must dispose of a stable and secure OS for the main servers, of
virtualisations technology (desktop and servers -the last with
datacenter automation software), of a strong database management
system, of good load balancing and high availability cluster
Moreover, our main partner must have a very strong network awarness, a
good image in the technical/Unix/OSS world (supportive opinion
leaders), iif possible not only good softwares but also good hardwares, a commitment
toward open systems and recognized standards, the know-how for great
data centers, etc
And -this is crucial- the main partner must have a global (technicaly
and geographically) capacity of support.
This is juste a few notes about our whishes.