How we can improve the election process using blockchain technology.

Recently, the idea of “rigged” elections has been the subject of much discussion by the public and media. There is actually one simple way to provide the necessary transparency for elections while maintaining security and that is through the use of blockchain technology.

Technology poses problems as well since not all users are familiar with the technology. However, blockchain tech. can be implemented on the back-end for security and transparency purposes while maintaining simplicity and ease of use on the front-end for users.

- All processes in place to validate the identity of the voter would be kept in place to ensure that the user is who they claim to be.

- The only addition to the above process would be that each eligible voter also receives a unique password (UPW) that is also used as part of the identifying process.

Once the user is validated, they would proceed to the voting machine. The first screen they see would be…

step 1

Step 1) The user will enter in the unique password (UPW) they received from the government

Step 2) After entering a valid UPW, the following screen would appear and the user would select their candidate of choice.

Step 3) After selecting a candidate, the next screen will appear, asking for confirmation.

Step 4) After confirmation, the vote would be automatically recorded on the blockchain and the following screen would appear with a confirmation number that you can use to reference your recorded vote.

As a result of using blockchain tech. every recorded entry would be time-stamped and tamper-evident. The government could provide a website for people to go to and enter their UPW to check to see that their vote was recorded accurately, thereby eliminating certain aspects of possible election fraud (examples provided below).

  1. After successfully voting, user goes to designated address by government

2. After successfully entering a valid UPW, the designated site would retrieve the entry on the blockchain associated with that UPW and the next page would appear…

Here’s an example of how the government can provide transparency and accountability using the Bitcoin block explorer as a template…

If you search using confirmation number you, the next page will be…

searching via confirmation number

If you search using User ID, the next page will be…

Upon searching for User ID, you should only see one vote which corresponds with the candidate that you selected and when you voted. If your vote is tampered with, it can be evidently seen (example provided below).

One crucial aspect is the use of a public blockchain such as the Bitcoin blockchain. If the blockchain is privately operated, then it is possible and easy to tamper with it. However, by using a public blockchain (which is not controlled by any centralized entity), tampering will be much more difficult and evident (if it occurs).

As you can see, it is possible to implement blockchain technology while still maintaining ease-of-use.

One potential problem is the exposure of identity. However, everyone would still be pseudo-anonymous since the only identifying information would be a string of numbers. Who that string of numbers belongs to would not be easy to determine for anyone who does not own the UPW associated with it.