Democracies worldwide depended on paper ballots for many years before shifting to digital voting machines. These devices are not tamper-proof, notwithstanding system checks, security procedures, and election regulations. Critics believe that the proprietary code used to operate electronic voting machines can be tampered.
As a result, governments all over the globe are looking at blockchain as a means of making general elections tamper-proof and transparent in order to create a system in which everyone trusts data, and counterfeiting is impossible. Despite these benefits, online voting systems are viewed with suspicion since they pose additional hazards. A single error can lead to widespread vote manipulation. Electronic voting methods used in elections must be lawful, accurate, safe, and convenient. Nonetheless, possible problems with digital voting methods may hinder implementation.
Blockchain technology comprises a single, mutually agreed-upon record of transactions shared by millions of nodes. To change the current data on the network, the hacker or fraudster would have to gain a consensus, which would require “forcing” 51% of all nodes to default at the same moment. The chance of a record being edited is close to nil since it is practically and computationally (almost) impossible. This is likely the most well-known aspect of this technology that qualifies it for use in voting systems.
Traditional systems used centralized databases to store voter credentials, and such centralized models also record vote tallies. As a result, they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The entire system would fail if a malicious opponent caused one server to fail. Blockchain-based solutions, on the other hand, are entirely decentralized, as previously noted. Even if a hacker compromises one node, he will require most of the network to bring it down.
Identity theft is a severe problem in practically all centralized schemes, including voting. Anyone with basic computer skills may access anyone’s ID data and vote on their behalf. Blockchain technology needs a user’s ID to be authenticated before he can execute an action on the system to prevent the loss of a personal ID record. To register on a blockchain system that operates the US voting system, for example, you must first authenticate and confirm that you are a US citizen.
The private key may also be considered as his signature in the cryptographic world, and none of the outbound transactions can be linked with this user if the private key is not associated with it. The risk of an external element hacking the entire process is almost low because the user or any network administrator does not have to perform it manually, and the mathematical calculations manage the full method smoothly.
In the ancient world, anything, whether a machine or a human, may be bribed or “motivated” to malfunction. When considering the most sensitive use cases, such as voting, this potential problem casts doubt on them. With the support of blockchain’s provenance, we can always count votes in real time and return to an election result later without a single concern about its legitimacy.
It cannot be overshadowed that every time an online survey was carried out to assess how many individuals preferred online voting, the majority of individuals invariably went to support this thought, and the logic was also quite appropriate – most people believe that when they can choose to use digital means for everything ranging from groceries to digital banking, there is no possible explanation why they would go against voting if governments enhance the digital structure around it.
By integrating all of these technologies, individual voters will be able to “see inside” each ballot box and assess whether or not the stated election results correspond to the counts in each ballot box. It has previously been suggested that when a large-scale procedure becomes public, individuals’ confidentiality is compromised and that this is a bluff by authorities that do not want to cede power to the people. Blockchain technology, on the other hand, is one-of-a-kind in this regard. With the aid of ECC, it provides the maximum level of openness while maintaining unique confidentiality for each network participant.
Voting is more than just selecting a President. It might range from that to doing an internet survey. Because each use case has its own set of requirements that might vary substantially in nature and implementation, it is vital to address them appropriately in code and design. While traditional solutions based on centralized databases are rather difficult to implement, blockchain technology provides optimal feasibility. It enables anyone with internet access to construct any imagined voting use case on top of it.
Blockchain technology can be used to securely register voters and verify their identities, helping to reduce the risk of fraud.
Blockchain technology can be used to ensure the security and integrity of the voting process, enabling voters to cast their ballots securely and confidentially.
Blockchain technology can be used to transparently count votes and ensure that the results of an election are accurate and cannot be tampered with.
Blockchain technology can be used to track voter turnout in real time, helping to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.
Blockchain technology can provide a permanent and auditable record of all votes cast, enabling authorities to verify the results of an election and ensure that the process was fair and transparent.
Blockchain technology can provide a secure and decentralized way to store and track votes, helping to reduce the risk of fraud and tampering.
Blockchain technology provides a tamper-proof record of transactions, which could help build trust and transparency in voting. This could include tracking ballots’ movement and verifying the votes’ authenticity.
Blockchain-based voting systems could make it easier for voters to cast their ballots, particularly for those who may have difficulty physically going to a polling station, such as individuals with disabilities or those living abroad.
Blockchain technology could help reduce the costs associated with traditional voting systems, such as eliminating the need for paper ballots and streamlining the counting process.
Blockchain-based voting systems could help to improve the accuracy of vote counts, as it would be more difficult to alter the results of an election once votes have been recorded on the blockchain.
In 2018, the state of West Virginia piloted a blockchain-based voting system for military personnel overseas. The system, developed by Voatz, used biometric authentication and blockchain technology to secure the voting process.
Again, in 2020, the state of West Virginia again piloted a blockchain-based voting system, this time for all voters in the state. Voatz’s system of voting was used in the primary elections and has been applauded for its security and efficiency.
In 2019, the Moscow City Duma elections used a blockchain-based voting system to record and count votes securely. The system, developed by the Moscow Election Commission and the Russian company Kaspersky Lab, used blockchain to ensure the integrity and transparency of the voting process. In 2021, the Moscow City Duma elections again used a blockchain-based voting system, with similar results to the previous year.
In Greenland, researchers have been given a grant of £420,000 to explore the potential use of á blockchain-based voting system.
Another exceptional example of the blockchain-based electronic voting system comes from Estonia. Estonia has utilized blockchain technology to secure its citizen’s identities, and the entire country is backed up in Luxembourg. The country has encrypted and backed up their records to casting a ballot – everything is digital now.