Blockchain can offer a tremendous amount of security for the voting system. Let’s dive in deeper to understand the effects of using blockchain to decentralize the system and whether it’s possible to promote transparency in voting.
Although most of our modern life is digitized at present, the elections are still using paper-based ballots. However, with the new century, experts saw great promise in e-voting that can speed up the process of digitization in this sector.
But the security of the digital voting system is quite fragile and not up to the mark. The voting system already deals with a lot of corruption now as it is, so including another fragile system will not make it any better.
Therefore, blockchain can serve as the primary basis of developing the new voting system that can drive more voter turnouts and make democracy strong again. In reality, there is already a few blockchain voting app in development that can deal with most of the issues.
We will go thoroughly through the sector’s existing issues and how blockchain can offer its solution to solve them.
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Blockchain In Voting: Issues with Voting System
Why do we really need a blockchain-based voting system? Well, there are so many elements a play in any kind of voting – whether it’s a governmental election or voting within a company. You have to understand what’s at stake here, so the tension within the voting parties will always be volatile. This is why the systems overall security is always at stake, and it also gives rise to other issues. Let’s check out what these are –
Use of Paper Ballots
One of the basic problems of today’s voting system is the use of paper ballots. Although we are using technology in a lot of aspects of our lives, this major sector still uses a legacy system that’s been going on for generations. In reality, the issue with ballot papers is that it’s highly vulnerable. Any other party can take advantage of that and increase their votes significantly.
More so, they are easily documentable or alterable. So, even if the management offers their utmost security, bad players in the system can get their hands on the ballot papers and ensure that the voting is in their favor.
Increasing Amount of Corruption
As you already know that the voting system is full of corruption. Many parties can bribe the managerial team to rig the vote to make them win.
But it doesn’t only stop there. Even people can get into the voting management in the hopes of getting high payouts to sell their services to the party that’s willing to pay up the sum.
This is a very disgusting approach. Sadly, the rate of corruption is only increasing. As the justice system cannot handle the issue, the bad players can easily get away with it. Therefore, we never see a fair democracy voting or election.
Obviously, there are exceptions to this system. But most of the government voting system is more or less corrupt.
Poll Worker Shortages
Another major issue is the shortage of poll workers. You’ll see that voting in the U.S. will take in civilians who will check voter identity, check them in, verify whether they are eligible, or troubleshoot any technical issues. In reality, this is a hectic role to take on during the election time as there are millions of people all at once.
More so, you also need capable people to handle all of this problem. There is no way; you can just hire random people to take on the task. Unfortunately, the poll workers with proper skills are hard to find. More so, you also have to make sure all these workers are honest and do not any connection to any political party in the vote.
Prolonged Wait Times
With the increased number of people in the world, it’s getting more and more difficult to manage them. Nowadays, more and more people are interested in their voting rights, which is great, but it can quickly overwhelm the short-staffed voting management. In reality, voters don’t like long wait times. But the lack of enough poll workers can give rise to prolonged wait times.
Not only does this discourage people, but it also prevents getting all the precious votes in due time. For example, long wait hours can make working people less interested in voting. Also, if the majority of the people don’t take part in the voting, it will not reflect the real results of what the people of a country want.
Lack of Transparency
Another issue is the secrecy around the voting system. Starting from the managerial positions to the casting of votes, mass people don’t have any access to the results until the authority declares it. Obviously, as the centralized authority is controlling it, citizens can’t trust the results fully. More so, the level of secrecy in every stage also ensures a chance to manipulate the votes.
Therefore, this system needs transparency during the whole process. In reality, it will help the citizens have more faith in the system, and they will start to trust the government. More so, it will also ensure a peaceful election.
Poor Voting Operations Management
Well, the voting operations management is not in good shape at the moment. There is a lot of elements at play here and harmonizing them all together is a hard call. For example, planning failures, production, and logistics failures can take their toll; if you don’t have preventive measures, it can be a huge disaster quite quickly.
More so, errors in ballot papers, late arrivals, errors in voters lists, lack of voting station facilities, and so on are some of the issues that a poor voting operations management can’t handle. In short, the system or the management is not up to the mark as it still uses legacy models, which is not sufficient at present times.
Lack of Crisis Management
Most of the voting stations are not equipped to handle any crisis. In reality, the managers have to react quickly and solve the issues as fast as possible in case of any emergencies. In reality, the voting managers need to have previous training in how to handle the situation.
But unfortunately, in most cases, they don’t have the training and can’t react to it properly when in need. For example, these are some of the potential crisis in a voting – non-delivery of critical materials, natural disaster, too much voter crowd, violence or disturbance, and so on. That’s why taking the voting system online can really change the scenario here.
Low Security in Voting Stations
Without effective maintenance, the voting stations can’t offer full security in the voting stations. In times of election, the situation can escalate pretty soon. More so, there always some kind of mob crowd who can become violent at any point. So, it’s up to the voting stations to safeguard all the staff, the ballots, and the voters.
However, a mob crowd or a political hit can quickly escalate out of hand. That’s why the voting stations would need more security and need to involve security forces at all times. However, the number of crowds is always overwhelming, and it can hider any peaceful election.
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Increasing Cyber Threats
You might feel that the voting system does not face any cyber threat, but the real scenario is much worse. Due to the integration of technology, now many people can also vote online. So, these online votes need to be counted properly and need proper storage out of everyone else’s reach. However, manipulation or deleting of votes is a concerning problem for this type of voting system.
As the technology behind these voting platforms can’t fend off all the cyber-attacks, many bad players can hack into the system and alter the results jeopardizing the integrity of the vote.
The overall maintenance of voting gives rise to a lot of costs. Maintaining the crowd, the poll worker, all of the products, ballot paper, everything is a costly process. With the use of technology, you can reduce all of these additional costs. But in many cases, the technology integration process can also cost a hefty bunch for the people.
For example, in order to integrate the new technology, you will need to integrate hardware facilities, have security software in hand, and many more. Therefore, these are not cost-effective at all.
Lack of Proper Technology Integration
As you can see, the voting system may include technology in many countries. However, there are still many places in the world that do not integrate technology into their system. More so, the lack of proper technology integration can decrease the overall efficiency of the performance of the voting stations. It’s also quite impossible to maintain all of the votes just with human resources as they tend to make a lot of mistakes.
That’s why automating them and using the proper technology when needed is the way to solve this problem.
What Is the Blockchain Voting System?
Now let’s talk about blockchain voting systems. In reality, blockchain-based voting systems offer a ton of applications. It’s a voting system that uses blockchain core principles.
For example, it will be fully decentralized so that no centralized authority can tamper with the voting system. More so, every single voter will get their very own voter identity verified.
This is actually a great way to establish who is eligible for voting and who is not. In reality, ensuring or checking every single document in times of voting or election is a very difficult process. The stress is always high, and many people can make a lot of mistakes.
However, it will automatically verify and streamline the whole process effectively when you are doing it online. So, it will save a massive amount of time.
Another feature is the immutability of the system. In a blockchain voting system, when a voter casts his/her votes, that vote is stored in the ledger. The best part is that the ledger is immutable. So, there is no way anyone can alter or delete the vote if they want. In reality, it can actually get rid of one of the primary issues – voting fraud.
How Does Blockchain Voting Work?
You must be wondering how the voting process can actually work. Let’s go through step by step of a basic blockchain-based voting system.
First of all, you will have to go to your jurisdiction and request mobile voting. If the election coordinator supports the voting process through blockchain, then you can get your ballot paper directly to your smart device.
Next, you have to download or install the application on your devices and create your account.
After that, you will have to go through the verification process. In many cases, the application will link your device’s IP or your phone’s biometric to the account and delete all your visible information. It will also check your national identification and verify if you are eligible for that.
Everything is done at this point. Once you are verified, you will receive your ballot in the device, and you can start voting with your PIN or your biometric information.
After you are done voting, you will receive some sort of confirmation that you have just voted.
As you can see, this is how blockchain can work in voting.
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Application of Blockchain In Voting
Accelerating the Registration Process
This is one of the most prominent applications of blockchain in voting. In reality, the registration process in any kind of voting takes a massive amount of time to complete. More so, the complexities and errors made during that time only make it even worse. Again, as all of this process is on the paper-based system, it leaves room for corruption.
Therefore, blockchain is the best-suited technology to deal with this issue. In reality, blockchain is fully capable of accelerating the registration process, where it will only take minutes to do so. More so, people don’t have to show up to the election coordinator to register for the vote. In reality, they can do it through online platforms that will automatically verify the authenticity of the documents.
Voter ID Verification
Another application of blockchain in voting is the voter Id verification process. In reality, ensuring or checking every single document in times of voting or election is a very difficult process. The stress is always high, and many people can make a lot of mistakes. More so, this is where the most illegal activities seem to happen as people can duplicate their voting identities or alter them slightly to make it look like a unique voter.
But with blockchain, this situation will change gravely. Blockchain can help to streamline this process even better. As you will do everything online, there is no need to waste time in order to get your ID-verified. The election coordinators can get your information from the platform, or the platform can verify them and notify you that you are a possible voter.
Decentralized Voting Infrastructure
The voting infrastructure today is massively centralized. That’s why it’s so easy to influence the results. In reality, the centralized system will always have a higher authority that can misuse its position and tamper with the results. Therefore, it’s practically impossible to ensure that voting was 100% fair in any circumstances.
However, e-voting using blockchain can help to eliminate the problems. For example, blockchain can offer its decentralized platform to cast a vote. Here, there will be no centralized authority who can tamper with the results. So, we can make sure that elections are 100% fair using blockchain.
As you already know, starting from the managerial positions to the casting of vote, mass people don’t have any access to the results until the authority declares it. Obviously, as the centralized authority is controlling it, citizens can’t trust the results fully. More so, the level of secrecy in every stage also ensures a chance to manipulate the votes. There is no transparency in the system at all.
Therefore, e-voting using blockchain will remedy this issue. Everything that happens on the platform is visible to all the people. So, mass people can see in real-time how much vote which party is getting. So, you can eliminate the secrecy once and for all and establish a more transparent election.
Preventing Voting Frauds
This is the issue of voting fraud. In reality, the voting system is full of corruption. Many parties can bribe the managerial team to rig the vote to make them win. But it doesn’t only stop there. Even people can get into the voting management in the hopes of getting high payouts to sell their services to the party that’s willing to pay up the sum. So, the tamper of votes, manipulation of poll workers, or even double voting can occur at any time.
But with e-voting using blockchain, this situation can change. In reality, blockchain can prevent double voting issues and ensure that a single voter only gets one chance to cast a vote. More so, it will also eliminate any third-party involvement and will establish tamper-proof voting.
Better Cyber Security
Due to the integration of technology, now many people can also vote online. So, these online votes need to be counted properly and need proper storage out of everyone else’s reach. However, manipulation or deleting of votes is a concerning problem for this type of voting system. In most cases, these technologies can’t offer the full security this niche needs.
Therefore, it’s time for the blockchain voting app to step up the game. In reality, blockchain perfectly handles the problem as it can fend off any outside or inside attack. More so, there are many apps that can fight against DDoS attacks as well. So, it’s a massive advantage for the lection community and the citizens of a country.
Better Voting Operations Management
Voting operations management is a huge responsibility, and many fail to comply with it fully. There is a lot of elements at play here and harmonizing them all together is a hard call. For example, planning failures, production, and logistics failures can take their toll; if you don’t have preventive measures, it can be a huge disaster quite quickly.
Therefore, using the blockchain-based voting app can help to manage all of the problems from one single place. It’s a good way to track the processes and ensure that everything is going according to plan. Here, the Government can use IoT devices to track. So, it’s a massive advantage for everyone.
Faster Vote Counting
Paper ballots are an ancient method of casting votes. More so, when there are millions and millions of people involved, the vote counting can take ages to do it. Just in the U.S along it takes several days to count votes in various states. In reality, this time delay worsens the situation and also gives scope to manipulate the end result.
Therefore, using blockchain in voting is a wonderful addition to solve the problems. In reality, blockchain can sort out the end result directly after a voter casts a vote. So, the vote will get counted instantly and effectively. As there are no humans involved, there is no scope of human-made errors as well.
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Real-World Examples of Blockchain-Based Voting Systems
You just be wondering about the real-world implications of blockchain voting systems. Well, there are actually many countries that have taken initiatives for blockchain. So, let’s check out some of the blockchain voting example to see the real scenario.
Estonian Government is one of the first blockchain based voting examples using this tech for some time now. At the moment, Estonia is one of the advanced nations in the world. More so, not only in voting, but they are also using this technology in smart cards and facilitating many governmental services.
Canada is also another country for the blockchain based voting example. The Chamber of Digital Commerce Canada recently started its first adoption of blockchain in the election and are guiding all political parties in it.
Sierra Leone is another country that’s using blockchain in voting. More so, they already conducted a blockchain-based vote and reviewed how the system is working. In reality, the Government wants to increase the level of transparency and trust in the system and make sure it’s a fair chance for everyone.
Russia is also working on a blockchain voting system project. In reality, the Authorities of Moscow is running an electronic voting pilot project since 2019. Here, they partnered with the Moscow Department of Information Technology (DIT) and the Moscow City Election Commission. At present, they believe the outcomes are successful, and they want to take it to the next phase.
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Switzerland is another country that’s working on the blockchain voting system project. In reality, most of Zug’s citizens are already really pleased with the e-voting blockchain offers as it makes the process a lot cost-effective and quick. More so, they also participated in the voting recently to further test out the system.
Denmark is working on a blockchain voting system project. It’s been already using this technology for many governmental sectors already. The Government also used this system to cast votes, and now they are powering their internal elections using this technology.
Australia is also on the race to use blockchain in voting. At the moment, they are planning to use this technology for their future voting schemes. Also, they want to make sure that the system is tamper-proof and 100% secured before they officially integrate into their system.
South Korea’s capital city Seoul is taking part in using blockchain for voting. At present, they are making sure that the citizen platform Democracy Seoul is fully integrated with blockchain to prevent any voting frauds.
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In the end, blockchain in voting can be a blessing if the world treats it like that. However, as blockchain is still evolving, many are skeptical about the authenticity of this new technology. Yes, we know that blockchain is not all that perfect; still, it can offer a lot of use cases if we start to integrate or focus more on making it more secure and fair.
So, it’s time for governments around the globe to step up and take the initiative to make our elections more transparent and fairer. If you want to learn more about how blockchain can affect this system, then we recommend starting with our blockchain free course.