Another application for blockchain technology is voting. By casting votes as transactions, we can create a blockchain which keeps track of the tallies of the votes. This way, everyone can agree on the final count because they can count the votes themselves. Also, because of the blockchain audit trail, they can verify that no votes were changed or removed. Also, illegitimate votes were null.
Given all the tech available, we still need to attend a voting booth, trust a counting system and wait for the counting of the votes. The speed at which the election takes place, doesn’t match the speed of our media.
Despite the digitalization of several important aspects of modern life, elections are still largely conducted offline, on paper. Since the turn of the century, e-voting has been considered a promising and (eventually)inevitable development. It could speed up, simplify and reduce the cost of elections. Also, it might even lead to higher voter turnout and the development of stronger democracies.
E-voting could take many forms: using the internet or a dedicated, isolated network; requiring voters to attend a polling station or allowing unsupervised voting; using existing devices, such as mobile phones and laptops, requiring specialist equipment. Now we have a further choice; to continue trusting central authorities to manage elections or to use blockchain technology to distribute an open voting record among citizens.Many experts agree that e-voting would require revolutionary developments in security systems. The debate is whether blockchain will represent a transformative or merely incremental development, and what its implications could be for the future of democracy.
How could Blockchain Technology be used for E-Voting?
The blockchain protocol is a means of logging and verifying records that is transparent and distributed among users. Usually, votes are recorded, managed, counted and checked by a central authority. Blockchain-enabled e-voting (BEV) would empower voters to do these tasks themselves, by allowing them to hold a copy of the voting record. The historic record was changeable because other voters would see that the record differs from theirs. Illegitimate votes were null because other voters would be able to scrutinize whether votes were compatible with the rules. BEV would shift power and trust away from central actors, such as electoral authorities, and foster the development of a tech-enabled community consensus.