- Blockchain voting offers transparency, accessibility and security in elections.
- Problems with it include interoperability, scalability, and possible errors.
- Countries like South Korea and Greenland offer real-life insight into blockchain voting.
Absolute democracy has never seemed less true than today. However, the advent of blockchain and its potential application in voting during elections make it seem like a match made in heaven.
As we examine the nitty gritty of this growing technology, one must consider many things. What are the merits, obstacles, examples, and honest possibilities that blockchain can thrive in the electoral process?
The Possibility of Blockchain Voting
With elements (and perhaps complete) of tyranny in Sudan, Brazil, Burundi, Turkey, Brazil, etc., today, the concept of Democracy seems like a mere wish. Yet, transparent and factual voting is vital for upholding democratic principles.
Blockchain provides a possible answer with its guaranteed immutability – the ability not being able to change.
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For context’s sake, there were allegations of tampered results in Nigeria’s just concluded presidential elections in February. The uproar was so much that the contestants appealed in court, with the matter still undecided today.
A scenario like this casts doubts on the efficiency of the traditional voting method. Can blockchain be any better?
The Merits of Blockchain Voting
With blockchain voting, there is surety of transparency and trust in the electoral process.
Blockchain voting systems can utilize smart contracts to automate election activities, like voter registration and vote counting. This increases efficiency and reduces the number of individuals involved in the election process… “too many cooks spoil the broth.”
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As each vote is being recorded – as an encrypted transaction on a decentralized ledger – blockchain certifies that votes can be audited but not reversed. These forestalls vote to tamper and improve belief in the voting system.
Furthermore, blockchain tech allows remote voting from any location, making the process more attainable. This benefits remote workers, citizens in the diaspora and disabled people.
The Demerits of Blockchain Voting
As blockchain technology itself isn’t perfect, blockchain voting may come with its unique problems.
There is something called a 51% attack in web3 – where a person or group controls more than 50% of the network’s computing power, possibly allowing it to exploit the network. Connivance among network members can lead to this and compromise the total system.
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Next, integrating different blockchain platforms for voting may be a tad difficult. This could prevent the extensive adoption of this system.
With regulatory issues still a stumbling block, carrying out blockchain voting in certain locations might not be feasible.
In addition, as the number of voters increases, the blockchain system might get over-saturated. This could lead to slow transaction time, which affects the overall election process.
Is Blockchain voting the way?
The American state of Utah utilized the blockchain platform, Voatz for its Republican primary election. It was a resounding success, with the co-founder saying,
“Voatz performed as expected and processed 93% of registered delegate votes.”
South Korea proposed a blockchain voting system a while back. A government representative stated that,
“Now is the right time to start using blockchain technology, so citizens can easily propose their opinions.”
Voter anonymity, privacy, registration, and other benefits make the possibility of a blockchain voting system interesting. With time, it is safe to say that more countries will begin warming up to blockchain voting.
A determining factor would be the public’s trust in the system. This can be done by reorienting and engaging them on what blockchain entails.
Conversely, blockchain voting systems require major investment in human and infrastructure development.
To that end, both sides of the coin must be considered in the event of a choice.
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