Bitcoin’s underlying technology, blockchain, is something that has started to find use-cases in different industries across the globe. Spearheads in various fields are trying to employ this very technology at their core in order to revamp their workflow. But can this technology be used in the electoral processes? The answer, yes.
From voter registration to actual vote submission, the entire pipeline can be streamlined using the technology that is powering up the cryptocurrency world as of now. Issues like rigging in the elections can be taken out of the picture it is used properly.
Talking to BlockPublisher regarding blockchain technology revamping electoral processes across the globe, the blockchain adviser of Linda Coin, David Gokhshtein stated:
You might see it implemented in third world countries.
..if we’re talking about global, that’s where it’ll start.
Rigging has been one of the major issues regarding elections in some developing countries. Providing the citizens with a decentralized framework with no intervention from a third party can actually prove to be a cure-all for these countries.
Voter registration is one of the major steps in any electoral process to keep the elections transparent. Knowing the amount of voters that are expected to turn up in the actual elections helps in keeping the entire process neat and tight. It also makes it easier for the regulatory bodies to oversee the entire proceedings. By making the entire system run on smart contracts, the transparency and security of the entire network can also be maintained very easily using blockchain.
Besides the security and transparency aspect linked with this framework, the convenience provided by blockchain in terms of voter registration process is game-changing. Through the help of this technology, voters can register themselves safely and securely from anywhere by using just their smartphones.
Voter registration is just one of the many prospects offered by this technology. Actual vote submissions can be done using it. This comes off as a very useful step for the citizens of a country who are staying abroad. West Virginia has already announced that during its midterm elections of 2018, the troops deployed abroad will be able to vote through a complete blockchain-based solution. The major aim of this is to get as much participation as possible from soldiers who are serving abroad.
For the upcoming elections in West Virginia, Voatz has been working with election director of West Virginia. Voatz is essentially providing the blockchain platform that will be used to carry out the entire process. Facial recognition is being used to identify and recognize each voter in the system.
The peer-to-peer decentralized framework provided by blockchain can provide a secure and transparent fabric needed to carry out such sensitive operations of an election. One of the biggest advantage that can be extracted out of this technology is its open and public nature. In a blockchain-based network, all the processes that are occurring on it are made public to each and every participant. Blockchain is essentially made up of nodes connected to each other and each node has access to all of the history of operations. The distributed ledger technology (DLT) employed at the core of a blockchain network makes sure that every node on a network has the access to all the information. No third party interference can be made in such open frameworks. Every proceeding is visible to all so an auditable framework can be established using this technology. The entire electoral process can be restructured and can be made transparent and efficient.
Although there might be problems associated with this framework as of yet, such as malfunctioning of the mobile phones, phones getting hack etc., but if these issues are tackled properly, the world might see a new electoral system emerge on the scene. As of now, time is needed in order to test this technology at a smaller level before it goes big.
Talking about the time frame after which one might see blockchain being used for conducting elections, David stated:
Not anytime soon. Maybe 10 years from now.
Note: this story has been edited to include Linda Coin’s more information URL.