Blockchain technology is of great value and improves old systems. Unlike in the past when all it was tied to was bitcoin, its application is currently evident in different sectors. Blockchain is revolutionizing different industries, with developers having new ideas. This decentralized network helps in solving issues in healthcare and is used in smart contracts, crowdfunding, and cloud storage among others. Notably, one of the areas it may affect is voting. So, how might it affect the future of voting? Can it help detect voter fraud? Please keep reading to get the answers to these.
A Shift from Traditional Voting
Some of the advantages of blockchain are in how transparent and incorruptible it is. Also, verification of its records is easy and no single party can interfere with the network. Additionally, the system works for financial transactions, that is why it is used widely in cryptocurrency, and can also help with any type of data transactions. A vote is an example of high-value data.
However, how safely and securely can the technology handle voting? Can it be trusted to modernize the voting process and have everything done electronically? It would be a great shift from the traditional voting procedures. With the traditional voting system, you have to leave your house and go to the polling station where you have to endure long lines before you submit the paper ballots. What’s more, the authorities must ensure the local citizens are registered for voting. The concerns around this voting system are countless.
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Regardless of your political affiliation, wouldn’t you agree the process of voting needs some improvement? Having everything done electronically would be so convenient for different parties involved in the voting process. The thought of having online voting in itself is amazing.
Thankfully, there have been initial attempts at conducting the voting process electronically. However, one of the main drawbacks of initial online voting attempts was the security. This made it difficult to trust the results. Therefore, the system had its own shortcomings and vulnerabilities.
On the other hand, blockchain is a safe and secure system. So, how can it revolutionize voting?
Blockchain in Voting
As already mentioned, the process of voting needs some improvements, and Blockchain technology could be the so awaited future, bringing in changes and improving the old systems. The following are some of the ways blockchain can affect the future of voting;
It Provides a Tamper-Free System
The initial attempts at online voting had security concerns. The officials were in fear of hackers tampering with the process, and hence the results could not be trusted in the end. Therefore, the adoption of this online voting system has been dragging. Keep in mind that cybersecurity is continually worsening, with hackers devising new ways, tricks, and tactics. Therefore, the slow adoption of online is not surprising.
On the other hand, one of the main pros of blockchain in voting is its safety and security. It brings in a new convenience and security compared to what online voting would. This system creates tamper-free records, thanks to the unique integration of cryptography into the system. Who would not want a tamper-free system? Therefore, even a hacker with terminal access to the internet connection used does not affect other nodes.
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The convenience of this technology is experienced by the voter and the electoral commission alike. As mentioned before, the process of getting up early for long queues at polling stations for voters to cast their ballots is not an appealing experience. This is where blockchain comes in to make work easier. Rather than showing up physically at the polling places to vote, or mail in their ballots for manual processing, a computer or mobile device can come in handy. Therefore, whether a citizen is in their country or abroad, he can conveniently vote regardless of how far he is.
This is thanks to the security of blockchain technology. What’s more, the electoral commission also benefits from the convenience of the system. It provides a quicker way of counting votes. The transparency of a higher level is worth noting. Therefore, when voters are aware of these, they are motivated to turn up for voting in large numbers. It also helps lower the cost of voting and enhances ballot security. Furthermore, blockchain technology ensures all voters are counted.
Can Help Reduce Voter Fraud
Voter fraud is one of the problems with voting. Secure, transparent technology that could help avoid that could be of great help, and blockchain is here for that. However, how does this decentralized system achieve that?
It is tamper-proof, so, no one can tamper with the process, from the actual casting of votes to the counting of votes. Therefore, the results are more trustworthy. Any cyber hackers who may want to hinder the process stay at bay. Therefore, this form of mobile voting and go a long way in reducing voter fraud.
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The high security of the blockchain is evident in so many ways. Therefore, it is not a surprise to find that there are already pilot programs putting the technology into practice. For instance, back in 2018, West Virginia State was the very first one in the US to employ blockchain in online voting during the primary elections.
This was a pilot project to test how efficient the technology is, in online voting. However, according to the estimations, voter participation was small. This was not a big deal since there were no immediate plans for its implementation.
However, it is a great step in the level of security in the voting process, thanks to the blockchain platform.
Blockchain technology is evident in different sectors. Its application is greatly increasing, thanks to its security and safe platform. What’s more, it is a tamper-proof system, making it great for data transactions and processes such as voting. It can affect the future of voting in so many ways. The security, transparency, and convenience it accords to both voters and the voting commission are some of the advantages. The good thing is that there has already been a pilot program looking into the technology.
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