Continuing our ‘coverage’ of the US midterms, we want to discuss just how blockchain technology could have been utilised this time round, ready for future elections in the states. Okay, it would have been a huge shock to find out that blockchain technology would be used at this stage in the elective process, however we do believe there are a number of intrinsic benefits to using the blockchain that would have made this sort of move quite appropriate.
Sadly though, due to the bad reputation of blockchain technology we don’t believe the American people would agree.
Corrupt US elections
In the wake of President Trump’s election, many news reports have surfaced declaring that the election was rigged. Indeed, there has been some reported evidence of election tampering too. As we’re not a politics website, we don’t want to discuss the legitimacy of this, however we don’t want to discuss how using blockchain technology could ensure rigging is not possible, meaning the elective process could be made more democratic. This is why we believe the US elective system would benefit from blockchain technology, if only to stop people raising accusations regarding the legitimacy of vote counting etc.
According to Forbes:
“Allegations of fraud and outside influence will continue to rise, even in advanced democracies, if we don’t apply technology to eliminate tampering. We need a platform that ensures proper voter registration, identification and streamlines the process of counting votes — all while providing transparency to the results.”
“Electronic voting became mainstream following the chaos that ensued after the 2000 presidential election. Many voters were confused by the paper voting process and ‘butterfly ballots,’ resulting in large numbers of votes that were allegedly misplaced. Subsequent election reform legislation led to the rollout of electronic voting machines.”
Electronic and paper voting are now outdated systems, yet they are used worldwide. The paper instance requires a lot of human intervention, intervention which takes time, costs money and leaves the system open to an awful lot of room for error. A blockchain based system would reduce the time needed to process votes, and would also close that huge error margin that currently exists in the US and across many of the worlds voting systems.
According to Forbes:
“There are several open source blockchain voting platforms emerging. The benefits of an open source platform is that it is open and does not have proprietary algorithms, allowing citizens and agencies to audit functionality and improve security. Many startups are focusing on open source online voting systems.”
“It’s counterintuitive to focus on moving back to a paper-based system to ensure integrity. Ideally, this legislation should grant federal money that can be put toward the exploration and piloting of online voting systems. Instead of relying on paper trails to ensure authenticity, let’s use the power of technology such as blockchain. While it is too late to change the course of the midterm elections, we need to quickly focus on the 2020 election. The future of our democracy is counting on it.”
As it stands, the technology is there and is ready to be used. Now, it’s simply just a case of convincing the authorities to actually make the most of the technology and begin to explore its uses. Once the ‘higher ups’ are convinced, it’s going to be a lot easier to convince the general public that the way forward for democratic voting is within the blockchain.