Blockchain Voting: A Step to Refine Elections?
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Main page Analytics, Blockchain, US Elections 2016, Crypto Valley Association

The data show that about 6.5% of all votes (nine million) in the 2016 elections were served abroad. At the same time, only 56% of the population of the electoral law of the United States submitted ballots for the presidential elections. Will the creation of a transparent digital voting system based on blockchain help to make the voting process easier, more accessible and more perfect?

The use of a distributed ledger technology allows reducing the risks of interference with the voting process, organizing a faster publication of the result and allows remote voters to vote in a simpler way. The first positive experiences in this area already exist.

In March this year, Sierra Leone became the first state in the world where presidential elections were held using the blockchain technology, which was used as an additional layer of integrity in the counting of voting results. Technical support and implementation of the initiative was provided by the Swiss startup Agora, which for two years was engaged in the development of a private blockchain.

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The desire of the African authorities to use blockchain is primarily due to the high level of people's distrust of the elections. The electorate is highly fragmented on the basis of loyalty to a particular clan or tribe, and representatives of other tribes always blame the winner for fraud. Agora hopes that blockchain will solve the crisis of confidence issue in the political system in general and in particular the elections. At the same time, according to representatives of Agora, Sierra Leone is only the first such experiment, and Agora is already negotiating with a number of other states.

Developed countries are also willing to use technology in this area. Authorities of West Virginia are the first in the United States to plan to introduce remote participation technologies in the regional electoral processes using the Voatz startup technology. It is assumed that the application for remote voting, working on the blockchain technology, will initially be used by the U.S. military living in other countries. Voatz will be an alternative to mail absentee ballots. To register in the application, the person will have to get a special state identifier, repeatedly pass the face recognition system, and access to the application will be possible only with a fingerprint.

West Virginia Implements Blockchain Voting

A successful experiment with voting using blockchain took place in the Swiss canton of Zug, known as the Crypto Valley. A trial municipal vote using the blockchain technology was conducted from June 25 to July 1 and became the first experiment of this kind in this European country. Despite the small number of voters - 72 out of 240 people who had access to the system, the experiment was considered successful.

However, some experts still note the disadvantages of using blockchain in voting. They believe that hacker attacks and hacking systems can distort the voting data. Experts explain that blockchain is able to reliably take into account the voice, but there is a danger that the infected device will change the choice of the voter before the data is recorded in the registry. Also among the shortcomings, they include Internet interruptions that may prevent people from voting.

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