Blockchain voting systems are a pretty hot topic at the moment, as more governments are coming out in support of them with every passing week. While Japan isn’t rumored to have witnessed any rigged elections, it is still working on a blockchain voting system to ensure that its voting process remains indisputable. Both America and Russia are considering their own blockchain voting systems as well to ensure voter security and legitimate results. Japan’s new blockchain voting system isn’t being used for a government application just yet, in fact it is being used to decide the next scientific project the city will focus on. Residents use their 12-digit ID card number to verify their identity and submit their vote – it’s that simple.
Elections around the globe are thrown into the spotlight when there are accusations of voter fraud and rigged elections. By implementing blockchain voting systems, governments can prove their legitimacy thanks to the immutable blockchain technology. Jared Polis – candidate for Governor of Colorado – has pledged he will implement a blockchain voting system for the state should he win the governorship. Russia is also working on its own, very similar blockchain voting system.
After every election, various media outlets claim the results were rigged, and the country is hoping to shake those claims with a new blockchain voting system. When the system is in place, voters will use a similar ID verification system to that being trialed in Japan in order to verify their identity and cast their vote. The votes can then be matched back to voter ID and verified as accurate if necessary.
Risks of Centralization
Similarly to the Bitcoin mining process, if one entity controls more than half of the blockchain nodes there is a chance that history can be rewritten and the blockchain exploited. This is drawn into question with the new blockchain voting systems. If a government controls the entire blockchain, it can simply write whatever results it wants to the blockchain – essentially making rigging the voting process that much easier. In order to combat this risk, blockchain voting systems should use a version of a public blockchain. Unfortunately – due to security risks – exactly how these new blockchain voting systems will largely remain secretive.
Blockchain Entering Politics
It isn’t just the voting process that’s being exposed to blockchain technology and the underlying crypto tokens. In the American elections, candidates are beginning to declare their stance on blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies. A handful of candidates are even accepting donations in cryptocurrencies. Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has even created a stringent set of KYC checks to ensure that donations meet the campaign requirements.
Blockchain technology is looking poised to disrupt elections and government institutions in a positive way. If used correctly, government services can be made more efficient and more profitable – meaning funds can be diverted to better causes. Elections will benefit from blockchain technology if governments can solve and prove decentralization. If not, election results will be scrutinized to a greater degree and it could spark an uprising.