Electronic voting feasibility

Greg Steffensen greg.steffensen at gmail.com
Fri Sep 10 05:31:54 CEST 2004


I'm designing a web portal for universities (a free software, by/for
students thing), and I'm considering including an electronic voting
component.  The site is cute, but I'd like the internet voting
component to be close to the real deal,as well as easy to install, use
and verify.  Writing it in open Python code would be a big help in
making it easy to install, use and verify, I think, but I don't know if
there are technical reasons that Python would be a poor choice for this
(I don't care about performance).  Its intentionally simple (because
I've been taught that complex == insecure), and is basically just a
wrapper around GPG.

Are there any technical reasons that Python would be a poor choice for
this?  I have no illusions that its possible to build a perfect system,
but would Python be more vulnerable than C or Java for some reason?
I'm not a security guru, but it seems to me that the security of the
interpreter is meaningless next to the security of the os kernel (the
core of the system involves a series of nodes- election observers-
taking an encrypted package, encrypting it again, and passing it on...
the disk is never touched), so choice of language is largely arbitrary.
Is this wrong?  Are there reasons to choose/avoid Python?
Greg Steffensen




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