There is hardly a person who hasn’t heard about blockchain at least something in the last two years. Even people very far from the IT-industry know that there are some distributed ledgers… But how they are relevant to real life? — you ask. Here we are telling you why it is so useful in public services.
Voting on blockchain
Elections held on the blockchain is one of the most successful examples of its using. Blockchain eliminates the main problem of elections — vote-rigging. In addition, blockchain optimizes organizational costs of elections.
Electronic voting on the blockchain is already actively used. IT-companies are developing the necessary software for elections.
Elections on the blockchain look something like this:
* Voters pre-register in the system using their biometric data. This is the most important moment for the unequivocal identification of a voter. But voters can use other credentials as well. So, they can upload documents, user identification code sent to his/her cell phone, etc. — similar to online banking;
* Just before the election, the voter receives an ID (code) to log in the voting platform. The user logs in and makes his choice.
* Then blockchain records and processes all results of user identification and voting. So, there is no way to enter some extra data or to «throw away» something unwanted. Since all nodes of the blockchain must validate every transaction in the system, that is, to reach a consensus.
* Finally, voters see the objective results of elections.
So far, large countries aren’t willing to elect a President or a parliament via blockchain. Because there are a lot of objective difficulties. A least, these are the «digitization» of each voter, the choice of a blockchain platform provider, the development of super-reliable software.
Voting on the blockchain is still local legislative initiatives. Private and public organizations apply it for the gathering of public opinion and elections of governing bodies.
The most famous cases of elections on the blockchain initiated by authorities:
* Elections in Sierra Leone in March 2018.
It is one of the poorest and most politically unstable African countries. People was deeply disappointed and did not believe in fair elections. The atmosphere for the experiment with blockchain was the most suitable. The technical organizer of the elections was the Swiss Foundation Agora, specializing in voting technologies. But for obvious reasons, the population couldn’t vote via the Internet. Still, citizens filled out paper ballots, passed them to authorized representatives of the Red Cross and other respected organizations. After that, the representatives recorded the results from paper bulletins in the blockchain.
* Elections in West Virginia in the United States in May 2018.
It is interesting, the state authorities initiated this election. They organized voting especially for residents of the USA who are in service abroad. Voting was conducted via the mobile application developed by Voatz. 140 Americans from 29 foreign countries took part in the voting. Voters uploaded their documents, recorded selfie-videos. Then they confirmed their selection with a fingerprint or via facial recognition.