Preliminary Voting -- Prevoting
Working Paper No.:  35
Date Published:  2008-11-30


Ronald L. Rivest, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


We introduce the notion of preliminary voting, or pre-voting, wherein a voter deposits—perhaps over the Internet—a preliminary vote or prevote with election authorities at some time before the close of elections. Prevotes are not official votes, and need not be kept private; indeed, election officials might, as a matter of announced policy, publish the list of received prevotes together with the names of the voters submitting such prevotes. With prevoting, a voter must visit a polling site to make any final adjustments to his prevote in private, and to actually cast her (perhaps modified) prevote.


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