The way we vote relies on a system that has undergone little to no changes over the past few decades. Some countries switched from paper ballots to electronic voting, but the process remains the same. Over in Australia, the postal service indicated they want to use blockchain technology for digital voting. This should improve efficiency and provide more transparency.
A recent submission was made to the Victorian Electoral Matters Committee regarding blockchain-based voting. The current voting process is cumbersome, far from efficient, and rather costly. By embracing blockchain solutions, all of these concerns would be alleviated, while improving the counting of votes at the same time.
The Blockchain is A Versatile Technology
Many people know the blockchain as the distributed ledger recording Bitcoin transactions. But the technology is capable of doing so much more than that. It is, in a way, the future of governance, insurance, finance, and the digitization of cumbersome processes.
Australia Post’s Tim Adamson stated the following:
“The emergence of crypto-currencies on the technology known as blockchain have highlighted opportunities to repurpose that technology to capture various digital transactions in immutable, distributed and secure ways. In many ways voting is an ideal use case for blockchain technology application beyond cryptocurrency.”
It has to be said. However, this process would require robust identity verification tools. Polling stations in their current form allow for peer-to-peer interaction, making it easier to verify one’s identity. The blockchain can be used in this regard as well, by securely transmitting voter information. More importantly, this platform will let people vote from anywhere, meaning they no longer have to come to polling stations either.
Digitizing The Voting Process
Every voter would have a specific amount of credits to be spent. All credits are issued on the distributed ledger. Spending these credits requires authentication through digital access keys. Voting results would be publicly visible right after the election, yet the voter’s anonymity will be protected at all times.
For now, this concept will be trialled at the local level. Assuming this process will be successful, it will then be taken to the next level. Eventually, the plan is to use blockchain-based voting at a parliamentary scale. No specific timelines have been provided for this unofficial roadmap at this time.
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