Is Blockchain the Solution to Our Voting Woes?
Last week, the presidential election showed the vulnerabilities of the American voting process. From delays in counting the votes to controversies surrounding mail-in ballots, the current system is neither perfect nor efficient. At this day and age, why don’t we have a modern process for the most important pillar of our democracy? Can Blockchain improve voting?
Blockchain voting technology may be ready sooner than later.
Blockchain, the distributed open ledger, may solve the problem in theory. Open ledger technology would not only automate counting but also, and more importantly, it could eliminate public distrust. With so many doubting the current system, digital voting seems to be the inevitable solution. But, is the current state of the technology ready to revamp voting? While it wasn’t ready to facilitate this year’s election, it may be ready sooner than later.
Ethereum, the leading smart contract platform made tremendous strides this year. It holds billions of dollars in smart contracts. The growing platform may be able to facilitate the scale of transactions that an election may require. And, it may do so safely and securely.
Ethereum offers security and immutability, the main concerns of voting today.
Blockchain offers 2 key features: (1) security and (2) immutability. Both happen to be the primary concerns current elections face. Voters are either concerned that voting systems aren’t secure and/or that other casted votes are fraudulent. Blockchain technology would solve both.
When a user interacts with a smart contract, it broadcasts a transaction to the network. Such transaction stays on the ledger, or the blockchain, forever. The recorded transactions are immutable and cannot be later changed by any one or any entity. With a built-in identity system, Ethereum’s platform is very secure, secure enough to eventually host a high-stakes election.
Communities in the Ethereum show us how voting can be. Ethereum already has digital communities within its own governing systems. For instance, Compound, an autonomous money market protocol provides an example. Here, users decide how the protocol evolves through governance votes. It cannot be edited or intercepted in anyway.
Blockchain may strengthen the integrity of elections.
By studying how these digital systems evolve, we can learn how to implement these digital voting processes to improve government voting. Blockchain solves the lack of voting security and can provide an immutable, tamper-proof record of all casted votes. Ultimately, in time, blockchain may be able strengthen the integrity of democratic elections.