Blockchain and voting systems
Alaska would become the first state to adopt blockchain technology statewide in its voting security system under a proposal by Wasilla Republican Sen. Mike Shower. The proposal is part of a new version of Senate Bill 39 Shower unveiled on Thursday. The bill would require most voters to use an added step to verify their identity, known as multi-factor authentication, similar to how websites send users email or cell phone codes in addition to requiring passwords to allow access.
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- Blockchain and Election Integrity
- Blockchain for Voting: A Warning From MIT
- USPS Secretly Tested a Blockchain Voting System Before 2020, It Didn’t Work
- USPS secretly tested mobile voting system: report
- Decentralized voting system and its role in promoting transparency
- How Blockchain Technology Can Prevent Voter Fraud
- Can blockchain save the vote?
- The US Postal Service secretly tested a blockchain mobile voting system
Blockchain and Election Integrity
But the distributed, data-protecting storage technology already is being used in the midterm elections. Startup Voatz uses blockchain technology to record votes that overseas citizens and military personnel can make with their smartphones. In principle, blockchain technology sounds like a great solution to today's voting system problems.
It offers a way to resist data tampering, creates a foundation to enable voting by phone and can generate an instant audit to verify election results. Blockchain fans think the technology is useful for everything from rendering movie special effects to selling concert tickets.
So of course blockchain voting tech is also under way. They think blockchain, a system for securely sharing a database of records across a network of computers, could be as big a deal in voting as advocates expect it to be in shipping , money transfers, property records, and the job it was invented for, recording transactions with cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Blockchain-based voting systems may someday be the norm.
But for now, with worries about electronic voting vulnerabilities and even technophiles recommending paper-based ballot systems, any new digital voting option must prove itself. And that's a bit harder at the moment for blockchain. The enthusiasm for it that accompanied 's cryptocurrency craze has waned, and blockchain skeptics are willing to speak out against the hype.
On top of that, blockchain has been tarnished by the difficulties of distinguishing startup startups' legitimate initial coin offering fundraising efforts from scams.
Even without reputation problems, blockchain voting has a long way to go before earning trust. Not everyone is so pessimistic. Blockchain voting startups are working hard to overcome the skepticism. Their technology is being used in the real world -- elections for political parties, unions, universities, even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The most notable case is Voatz, whose blockchain-based voting system is being used in West Virginia as an option for overseas voters, including ordinary citizens and military personnel who could use their phones to place their vote with the system. Two of the state's 55 counties tried it during the primary election, and only 13 people actually used it to vote, said Chief Executive Nimit Sawhney.
In the midterm election , 24 counties offered it as an option. Voatz plans to expand to other countries and to other groups that have trouble with today's voting technology, such as people with disabilities. West Virginia has carefully scrutinized the security of Voatz technology, including its phone and back-end server software, and believes it can help people vote even if they're in a submarine or in a remote military post in Afghanistan.
A rival, Votem, also is proceeding cautiously. Stern and Sawhney both emphasize that the blockchain technology is used only to store the vote data and that it's essential to incorporate other technology, such as that for verifying a voter's identity using face recognition and a government ID.
And at least for now, their technology is just an option, not the only way people can vote. And even if blockchain isn't perfect, neither is the current voting technology it challenges. For example, the only proof of identification Montana and Ohio require for absentee voting is that voters write the last four digits of their Social Security number on the ballot, Stern said.
Audits of elections are slow, expensive and often limited just to close races. And good luck to individual voters finding out if their votes were tallied correctly. Princeton cryptography professor Matthew Green has a list of concerns about blockchain voting technology , the first being that it relies on computers in the first place.
Blockchain voting also brings new twists to the age-old problem of voter coercion: "If I can verify that my vote was correctly recorded, then your local mob boss can also use my receipt to verify the same thing," and thus can exert pressure to vote a particular way. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine -- a prestigious group of top researchers in the US -- also said no to blockchain voting in a September report on voting technology.
With Voatz' technology, only voters know who they voted for, Sawhney said. And Votem's Stern believes there are profound problems with today's non-digital voting systems that must be weighed in the balance.
That's a fair point. Blockchain may or may not play a role, but voting will move to our internet-connected devices, said Turner of the Center for Democracy and Technology. There will be that pressure coming from voters themselves," Turner said.
Election security : Everything you need to know about election security in the US midterm elections. Blockchain Decoded : CNET looks at the tech powering bitcoin -- and soon, too, a myriad of services that will change your life.
Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. No, blockchain isn't the answer to our voting system woes But the distributed, data-protecting storage technology already is being used in the midterm elections.
Stephen Shankland. Or maybe not. Now playing: Watch this: What the heck is blockchain? Discuss: No, blockchain isn't the answer to our voting system woes.
Blockchain for Voting: A Warning From MIT
But the distributed, data-protecting storage technology already is being used in the midterm elections. Startup Voatz uses blockchain technology to record votes that overseas citizens and military personnel can make with their smartphones. In principle, blockchain technology sounds like a great solution to today's voting system problems. It offers a way to resist data tampering, creates a foundation to enable voting by phone and can generate an instant audit to verify election results. Blockchain fans think the technology is useful for everything from rendering movie special effects to selling concert tickets. So of course blockchain voting tech is also under way.
USPS Secretly Tested a Blockchain Voting System Before 2020, It Didn’t Work
Blockchains have come a long way, but are they ready to be trusted with democracy? W hat exactly is the current voting process? You arrive at a specially designated location and walk into a private area away from prying eyes. You carefully mark a piece of paper and fold it over. Your vote is added to all the other votes and counted — usually under observation to avoid mistakes or something more sinister. This system seems reliable to us because it involves real-time human observation and physical objects that can be counted and recounted until everyone is satisfied things were done fairly. It might feel like the best way to make sure everything is done correctly, but it takes time. This is becoming a problem in our impatient world — the media is impatient for results. Candidates are impatient for results. The question is — How much longer will the world wait for humans to count bits of paper?
USPS secretly tested mobile voting system: report
Security and trust are seen as the most important issues in electronic voting systems. Therefore, it is necessary to use cryptographic procedures to ensure anonymity, security, privacy, and reliability in these systems. In recent years, blockchain has become one of the most commonly used methods for securing data storage and transmission through decentralized applications. E-voting is one of these application areas. However, data manipulation is still seen as a major potential problem in e-voting systems.
Decentralized voting system and its role in promoting transparency
A growing number of tech start-ups have even advocated for using blockchain technology, which they say would boost voter turn-out and improve public trust. But in a new paper looking at a range of examples, a team of MIT cybersecurity experts have come out strongly against using any form of blockchain-based voting, and said that online voting in general is much more vulnerable to being hacked than in-person or mail-in voting. They say that the physical nature of mail-in ballots make them much less susceptible to large-scale attacks compared to online voting, where exploiting a single vulnerability could impact every ballot at once. Though blockchain-based apps like Voatz have been deployed in state and county elections, researchers like paper co-author Mike Specter have previously shown that such systems suffer from serious security vulnerabilities enabling attackers to monitor votes being cast and even change or block ballots. Blockchain-based approaches require voters to use software for which a single bug could undetectably change what they see e. The researchers argue that, at this point in time, only paper ballots allow voters to directly verify that their ballot accurately represents their intended vote.
How Blockchain Technology Can Prevent Voter Fraud
For the first time, remote electronic voting was conducted as an experiment during the elections of deputies to the Moscow City Duma on September 8, in three voting districts. The solution was created from scratch and tested by the IT Department of Moscow Government in less than one year. Most of the key participants and customers claim that the experience was successful, the system passed all the tests and proved its resistance to hacking. Thus, the experiment confirmed that the system can be used for other votes. You can read more about that experience on Habr.
Can blockchain save the vote?
Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova has not acknowledged any major violations to date. The questions, not limited to the opposition, focus primarily on Moscow, a city of over 12 million, where more than 1. United Russia dominated the field, with no opposition candidates recommended by jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny's Smart Voting app winning individual seats.
BallotchainRELATED VIDEO: Online Voting System Using Blockchain(with demo).
The US Postal Service secretly tested a blockchain mobile voting system
The US elections were one of the most scrutinized processes every in American history. Between record levels of absentee voting due to the pandemic, baseless accusations made by the President, and many judicial challenges, every inch of the electoral system was run through with a fine-toothed comb. The tension the election created, the uncertainty surrounding absentee ballots which was brought on because of the accusations by the President , and subsequent events have brought on the question - can we vote differently? Some envision an electronic voting system backed by blockchain as the answer. Such a system would allow voters to cast ballots remotely from the safety of their own homes, and blockchain's advantages could prevent interference, disenfranchisement, and guard against election fraud. I'm a blockchain developer and someone who enjoys politics, so naturally this subject interested me and I started research.
South Korea plans to develop a blockchain voting system, with trials starting next month in the private sector. The NEC ran an online voting system, dubbed K-voting, back in , which has since been used by 5. The latest system to be developed will apply blockchain in voter authentication and result saving, which will increase transparency and security, the government said. Voting will be conducted via mobile and personal computers.