Voting for anything is one of the most important ways to ensure fair representation and equal voice when making decisions. The larger the implications for each decision, the more people who participate in the process. As such, it can become difficult to accurately and efficiently keep track of each voter’s eligibility and legitimacy to participate. On top of this, there are also other issues including lack of transparency and potential corruption which discourages many from voting at all. Let’s learn about how blockchain can address these issues to optimize how we vote.
This is not financial investment advice.
This article will touch upon key aspects of how blockchain can be applied to improve voting.
How It Works
Before we get into how exactly it would help voting, let’s break down how blockchain in voting would work to begin with. First of all, the voter registration process would still have to take place off the grid or off the chain. Once a voter registration agency determines that someone is eligible to vote, they would receive a token or key that would allow them to vote exactly once. This is the same mechanism used to ensure that the double spending problem does not exist, but now with voting.
Plus, the whole voting process would be decentralized, which means that there is no central agency which must be trusted to conduct the elections fairly and securely. Anybody can participate and become a node in the system — as long as they meet requirements which are confirmed during registration — which will collectively ensure that the system is available throughout the duration of the election, and that the votes are counted correctly.
Voter registration must be completed off the blockchain. Eligible voters can receive a token which they can use to vote exactly once, getting rid of the double voting problem as well as ensuring full security.
Addressing Security Issues
Especially as of late, voting security has been a heavily debated topic amongst all kinds of people. From political to technological perspectives, everyone agrees that keeping our elections as secure and transparent as possible would be the best way to go. As such, blockchain technology has the ability to introduce a system that is seemingly impossible to hack to the table.
With blockchain, votes could be verified right after the voting is finished, so that officials can be certain that the votes are counted correctly. This can be achieved without the need for a central body overseeing the results, as we currently have in the system. In blockchain systems there is no central body, which is the point of having the distributed ledger system. As such, any vote that is counted has to be completely verified, fully ensuring that there are no security breaches at risk.
With blockchain, each vote that is counted has to be completely and accurately verified. This means that officials can confirm the voting results as soon as they are finished.
Lastly, we can ensure full transparency by integrating blockchain systems to the way that we vote. By adopting open-source voting platforms, anyone can truly audit its functionality to make sure that it’s doing its job properly and accurately. This way, there won’t be any need for a central authority to involve itself in the process. In fact, a trustless system for voting is one of the only ways to completely ensure a fool-proof election.
During a time — even in the most advanced democracies — when voting security and transparency is called out in response to allegations of fraud and corruption, it is quite imperative that society uses technology to ensure full validity in the system. Blockchain technology has the ability to do this, but it will still take some time before any real action can be taken. A majority of politicians and people in general still don’t completely understand the nuances behind this technology which must be required for any chance of blockchain-based voting systems to emerge.
Blockchain-based voting systems provide full transparency by eliminating the need for central authorities to be involved. Technology can potentially be an answer to the question of how to keep elections and voting as secure and foolproof as possible.
At the rate that our society is currently innovating and advancing, it’s imperative that we take advantage of our technology to ensure that our voting processes are secure as possible. The best way to do so would be to explore potential uses of blockchain to improve the election process overall. This gets rid of the need of any central authority to verify and legitimize the votes. Instead, the distributed ledger technology does that automatically, ensuring that each vote is real and confirmed. It may take time for blockchain to be understood and used by everyone, but it’s something to look forward to as our society continues to grow and advance.
How do you think blockchain can best improve voting processes across the world? Let us know how in the comments!