Andrew Yang, another US Presidential candidate, has increased awareness of the idea that blockchain technology can solve some voting security and convenience issues. His campaign has centered on modernizing voting by letting people cast their votes through mobile apps, then the blockchain will verify it. The idea sounds great, particularly since many individuals didn’t like the prospect of waiting in long lines and taking time out of their busy schedules.
The Permanent Subcommittee also assessed it on Investigations associated with the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs in a virtual roundtable to permit Senate members to vote via online means because of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
End-to-end encryption was brought up among the topics, along with a blockchain-based voting tool. The Agenda of the meeting mentioned how the blockchain could reduce the instances of incorrect vote counts by giving a tamper-free record. It was also brought up that Estonia is one of the countries that were already using the blockchain to run entirely online elections.
The information was acknowledged, also the fact that the blockchain is not a foolproof system. It discussed cryptographic errors, software bugs, and majority control of the blockchain falling into the wrong hands as thinkable risks. Everyone referred during the discussion agreed with the need of a senator verifying their vote after casting it. The attendees also discussed a variety of ways to make that possible.
How does the Blockchain work?
Blockchain-supported voting can be a smart move because it may upsurge voter attendance. People often think of cryptocurrencies and blockchain altogether. Fresher and tech-savvy individuals often find cryptocurrency likeable due to how it keeps identities secured. Plus, the idea of voting through an app is ideal anyone who may experience struggle getting into a polling station.
Additionally, the blockchain offers a transparent system that will allow a person to verify his vote and prevent tampering. However, the blockchain is not perfect, but it could give a voter more visibility to ensure that their voice is heard.
Obstacles Associated With Blockchain Voting
Earlier this year, MIT researchers have circulated a report about Voatz. It’s an app claiming to record votes recorded on a blockchain. Though, the group has found no indication that the app uses the blockchain to authorize honest votes. Even more worrying was that the investigation discovered how a party with remote access to the app might view a person’s vote and alter it.
Voatz is not only the app that can be used for voting via blockchain; the MIT researchers have shown hesitations that may apply to them all. It was also mentioned how the people who worked on the apps might have good intentions and lack knowledge of election security. Another issue that affects the industry now is that many new offerings have reached the market before getting appropriately reviewed. Because of the rush, companies’ race to be on top, and securities may get overlooked.
Another new development concern is an open letter written by experts in cybersecurity, science, and computing, they addressed it to officials at all government levels. They insist that no internet voting system has the essential security, and relatedly, the blockchain cannot “mitigate the profound dangers inherent in internet voting.” The open letter was backed up with the experts’ two decades worth of science-based research.
Research from Kaspersky Innovation Hub has used the blockchain differently. It has resulted in a blockchain secured voting machine that lets voters submit ballots in person. The setup still has an online component, so it doesn’t eliminate the concerns expressed in the open letter. This invention could ease the minds of people who balk at voting through the smartphone or the computer.
Too-Short Timeframe Probability
Voting thru blockchain is unquestionably on the table as an alternative for future consideration. Anyone excited about sending their votes to the blockchain in the upcoming US presidential election probably has their hope too high.
Voting in many places around the country can happen differently than usual. The COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing already means that candidates cannot hold active rallies. It is hard to imagine the circumstance changing before Election Day happens.
A much more viable option to use in the nation by November is by voting thru the mail since some states are already using it and American citizens that live overseas. Rolling the system out to everyone is mid-boggling because of the timing, but it is arguably more practicable than blockchain voting as things the way they are now.