How Blockchain Can Be Used for Voting
Elections are a symbol of choice and tool of expression in democratic societies. However, in some instances, the electoral process has turned violent and polarized societies. The chaos that ensued following the U.S. 2020 Presidential elections has left observers wondering if there is a need to modernize or change the voting system. Some argue that utilizing blockchain technology in place of a predominantly manual voting process could solve a lot of the current system’s problems. The reasoning behind this has everything to do with the principles and features that have made blockchain a successful technology in recent years.
The issues in the current voting system
Democracy demands that elected officials are accountable to the people that elected them. It is for this reason that elections must be as free and fair as possible to maintain a trust balance between the citizenry and elected officials.
However, elections don’t always go smoothly and have led to the deaths of hundreds of people, especially in developing countries. The lack of transparency, vote rigging, pre and post-election violence, as well as other irregularities have all led to disputed elections. This could pose a threat to democracy, legitimacy, and in some instances, invite economic sanctions.
As the world moves towards digitization, it could be the right time to change the electoral system and switch to modern technology. Blockchain technology could be a contender to transform voting and possibly play a major role in promoting democracy.
Can blockchain technology be used for voting?
Implementing blockchain technology in voting starts with a closer analysis of the methods currently used. There is no doubt that the current voting system raises a lot of suspicion and concerns.
Voter impersonation is a problem, although it has been found that its rate is generally too low to affect the outcome of an election in the U.S., the effects of this are unknown in other countries. Manual voter count is not accurate as officials can make honest mistakes, or deliberately do so to alter the outcome of an election.
Electronic systems used for elections can be hacked. This raises questions on the credibility of elections and might even lead to protests and post-election violence. Mail-in votes are at risk of being stolen or lost in transit.
It is these loopholes that blockchain technology is expected to close. The technology’s advocates believe that blockchain can be used to secure one’s vote without any interference from politicians or election officials.
The blockchain is simply a database that records data on a decentralized ledger that cannot be altered or deleted. It could be used to enter votes, which are permanently stored on the database. The database can be made public or private and there will be no cases of lost or stolen votes. The votes can be easily audited on the blockchain.
Blockchain voting is not just a theory as it has been trialled before. In 2018, Zug, a tax haven in Switzerland successfully piloted blockchain voting.
How FiO Can Be Used for Blockchain Voting
FiO.one has several toolkits and pre-built templates that can be easily turned into blockchain solutions with ease. One of those use cases could be blockchain-based voting.
How will blockchain voting work with FiO?
FiO has built a bespoke blockchain that can be used by the public or private enterprises. Any organization interested in holding blockchain elections can make use of FiO’s blockchain protocol. The blockchain ensures that voting is done transparently and can be audited by an independent third-party.
Each vote is tokenized and recorded on the private blockchain, much like cryptocurrencies. Voters and election officials with access to the permissioned blockchain can access the voting platform. Each registered and eligible voter can only cast their ballots once as there is no way that the same person can vote twice.
By utilizing blockchain technology for the voting process, there is no chance of voter impersonation. The votes are uploaded onto the blockchain, where they cannot be altered or deleted. The voter is issued a token to their wallet address as a confirmation that they have voted. This token, with no monetary value, is valid for as long as the election. The token is destroyed at the end of the election cycle. Vvotes on the blockchain and recorded and counted with a higher degree of accuracy and transparency. This way, the majority of problems encountered with traditional voting mechanisms are eliminated.
Voting is a democratic right that equates to the voices and choices of citizens. Election outcomes have been debated in recent years, in one part due to rigging and in another due to the inefficiencies embedded in the electoral processes. Blockchain technology can provide the much-needed transparency and accuracy that the current voting system requires. FiO is working on a viable solution to make blockchain voting a reality.