A fair voting system is the backbone of any democratic society. Blockchain is increasingly becoming popular in solving various underlying issues in many industries that involve double spending problem, such as currencies, cloud storage, smart contracts and even health care. One of the biggest problems blockchain can solve is voter fraud.
At its core Blockchain is a distributed ledger, that draws its power from the nodes on its network to verify, process, and record all transactions across the system. This ledger is never stored, but rather exists on the “chain” supported by millions of nodes simultaneously. Because of encryption and decentralization, Blockchain’s database of transactions is incorruptible, and each record is easily verifiable.
The Blockchain network can never be taken down or influenced by a single party because it doesn’t exist in one place.
Modern voting systems rely on centralized mechanisms that are easy to tamper with as if we’re still living in last century. People who want to vote need to leave their homes and submit paper ballots or press desired button on a voting machine.
The question remains, even after the existence of internet for more than 25 years why can’t we bring this system online? Although, some countries have tried to do it, but it has proven difficult to put faith in the results due to large gaps in security.
Blockchain has the potential to turn the tides and let people of any country vote securely just by using the internet. A blockchain-based voting application does not concern itself with the security of its internet connection because any hacker with access to the terminal will not be able to affect other nodes.
Voters can submit their vote without revealing their identity or political preferences to the public. Officials can count votes with absolute certainty, knowing that each ID can be attributed to one vote, no fakes can be created, and that tampering is impossible.
Under a Blockchain system, voters will be able to cast their votes from mobiles phones or a personal computer, which are then logged onto an immutable Blockchain and utilized to reliably verify the results of the election.
According to Jamie Skella, co-founder of Horizon State, one of the companies that build such systems, there is a need for better decision-making tools and processes to achieve the best outcomes in a democratic form of government.
He said, “Democracy is the opportunity to share in the decision-making processes that relates to the shared matters which affect us. Democracy is about reaching consensus on how to best use our shared resources to achieve the best outcomes for our partners, children, colleagues, staff, and fellow citizens. Where there are shared resources in any cooperative environment, there remains no question: we need better-shared decision-making tools and processes.”
Blockchain could truly revolutionize the way we elect our leaders. The system will eliminate such issues as manipulation, recording errors, and tampering, as well as encourage voters’ participation.
That said, Blockchain-based voting solutions are still in their infancy, they are already showing many and diverse use cases. The change will need to start with the government itself. A corrupt government who wants to stay in power would of course want to stay away from implementing Blockchain.
Various governments around the world are already investigating the idea of using Blockchain for national ID systems to avoid identify frauds. It’s only the matter of time when we’ll have first elections on Blockchain.