Elections are of extreme importance for any democratic nation. Usually, a governing board is positioned in any country that gets to decide what process and technologies will be used for the voting system. But it is not a standard in the whole world so each jurisdiction can have a different process for elections. As we know monumental decisions are at stake so there’s no space for any type of doubt about the system’s ability to defend against potential hacks and security of the data.
A paper-based electoral system is quite old, flawed in many ways, and insufficient. In the recent few years, the world has seen a quick transition of voting systems from traditional to digital or we can say e-voting. This transition of the voting system might seem good to many people but it still poses some threats which must be dealt with. For example, The United States President, Donald Trump, has been accused that the Russian hackers have helped him in winning the election.
Such flaws and accusations raise the question of the security and ability of the system. Vote rigging is a big problem and hurdle in the way of democracy and it thrashes the trust of people in the system and creates an environment of mistrust amongst people. Blockchain technology is providing a secure and efficient method for voting processes.
Blockchain has made a name for itself over the last decade. It was the year 2009 when blockchain was introduced by the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, although the concept of this was revealed in 1991. Cryptocurrency has helped the technology to get where it is now. Developers are rushing to create new use cases for this astonishing technology. Do you know what is it? If yes, great but we will see how it is perfect in the electoral process.
Blockchain is a distributed database across the network to store information securely and efficiently. This concept was used by Satoshi to store the transactions information of the flagship currency. For now, the concept of this firm is being used in cryptocurrencies but it has more than a dozen use cases including healthcare, real estate, smart contracts, crowdfunding, and cloud storage. The core concept of this technologically advanced technology can be used in the electoral process to make it more transparent.
Blockchain can serve the voters
The fundamental concept of this technology is a digital ledger. This technology takes its power from the peers or nodes on the network to verify, process, and record all transactions across the system. This recorded ledger is not stored on any specific location rather it is distributed among millions of nodes on the network simultaneously. The encryption and decentralization of the technology make it incorruptible, and each transaction is recorded easily. As the network doesn’t exist in one place so a single party cannot hack or alter it.
We have described the way blockchain works in cryptocurrencies but what if we expand this information storage to the voting system. As a vote is a small piece of high-value data, this kind of infrastructure will be extremely useful for voting. Modern voting systems are old, inefficient, and stuck in the last century. People have to leave their house for casting a vote which is itself a burden on resources and a waste of time. E-voting system has security gaps and holes that can be filled with the blockchain in the scene.
Many firms are already working to provide a transparent and trustworthy system of voting for the democracies around the world. Horizon State is such a firm that has already launched a novel solution. Horizon’s secure digital ballot box represents a cost-effective and smart solution to the problems inherent in today’s voting procedures. Participants will use decision tokens (HST) to cast their votes from a mobile phone or PC, which are then logged into an immutable blockchain and used to reliably verify the outcome of the election.
Benefits of Blockchain voting
The elections over the world are constantly under threat from bad actors who aim to infiltrate voting machines, alter voter registration databases, and coordinate disinformation campaigns. Blockchain can solve many issues found in these early attempts at e-voting. The blockchain-based voting app doesn’t concern itself with the security of its internet connection. Even with a terminal, bad actors will not be able to alter the nodes’ data.
Voters will no longer reveal their identity and political preferences but still, they will be able to cast the vote. With the current system, governments around the world pay from $7 to $25 for a single person’s vote when all the factors are considered. If governments use blockchain then it will only cost fifty cents ($0.50). People will be able to vote via their phone or pc with a sense of security and understanding that their mandate will not be theft.
Officials will have complete trust in the system because each ID can be attributed to one vote, no fakes can be created, and vote-rigging is impossible.
Moving towards a true democracy
This technology has the ability to pave its way towards a direct democracy where people can decide what policy to bring. This way people do not need to rely on their representatives to make policies for them and then implement them. Blockchain is an ideal technology for informing business decisions, guiding general meetings, censuses, polling, and many more. For such a system, the rules of the voting system might need a bit of change.
The use cases for blockchain voting software are many and diverse. For the future of society, the ability of blockchain to manage and engage a constituency is very crucial. This will not just make this process more transparent rather it will encourage the people to participate.
This technology can really help humanity to implement a true democracy in countries around the world. Currently, the technology is in its infancy, but there’s a strong chance that it will grow alongside the young voters. In a more mature form, it will help the young voters and play a key role in the future.