Blockchain-based e-Voting

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bennykokonut

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Mar 6, 2018
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It is not a new phenomenon that democratic processes world over are becoming increasingly susceptible to all forms of attack from cyber attacks and other forms of malpractices aimed at skewing a supposed reliable and open process. However, the consequences of electoral compromises have meted out dire straits for all stakeholders in a democracy. There is this lingering issue of alleged electoral malpractice in the US during the last presidential polls and maybe other issues of such magnitude not yet mentioned in public space.

I was particularly disturbed in the wake of these issues and decided to think of how things could get better to ensure total trust and reliance on our electoral process to bring about the unquestionable credibility in the way we elect our leaders both in the society and in the academia. Even conducting polls shouldn't be left out, because polls are used to gauge the pulse of the society to test public affinity to or disapproval of a particular issue or cause of action. In my quest in search for answers, I came across the issue of e-voting based on blockchain technology. First, it sounded like a stealth idea but I had to dig a little bit because the bait that caught my interest deepened was the keyword, blockchain.

After a thorough study, I was quite convinced that this particular tech process was going to be the hope of future elections because it promises absolute security, immutability and voter anonymity guaranteed by some kind of transparent crypto-algorithms, tech people could easily figure this out. Also, it offers fast deployment on both static (desktop) and mobile devices, which means an absolute guarantee for convenience and easy user interface from my findings.

Moreso, political parties with credible candidates and electoral commissions shouldn't worry about cost implications of elections anymore, because this system as I have learned saves resources, especially cost, and also secure and transparent for all. It can also be a useful tool for intra-party or inter-intra-organisational elections.

Its use in the university or academic setting cannot be wished away all of a sudden because dozens of elections and polls are held annually, as various reps are elected to student councils, associations, trade unions, extracurricular communities and university governing bodies.

I wish to read about other safe, transparent and credible electoral processes. I am not an island of knowledge, there are bright minds out there with potential ways of making our electoral processes right.
 

stan.distortion

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Oct 30, 2014
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It's not as easy as counting votes. Even something as seemingly obvious as a transparent voting process with all records visible on a blockchain is a major pitfall, vote buying isn't well known these days but was common practice in the early 1900s and was a major cause of corruption. A more recent example of the same is the change from blind to open ballots in the US congress in the early 70s, whether it resulted in increased corruption is debatable but the change in voting patterns is startling.

Then there's the real killer, apathy. Just supposing you have the perfect system and we're all set for a brave new world of plenty and fairness for all... Everyone's living easy and they stop giving a damn what's happening in politics, vote participation drops to almost nothing and the whole thing either collapses or gets hijacked. It's happened a few times in recent history, the tragedy of the commons on a national scale.

We know about these pitfalls, they're avoidable and in this day and age we're better able to identify them and come up with solutions than any time before. That's great news for all kinds of governance but when it comes to national politics... Parliamentary Democracy was basically built 200 years ago in a time when a message could take a week or more to cross a country, that's the main reason for representatives MPs, Senators, etc. Trying to gather opinions from every citizen simply wasn't possible. Then along comes efficient postal networks, do we find a way for greater representation? No. Then the telegram... the telephone... the internet... each improvement in communications should have resulted in greater inclusion. Maybe it was simply overlooked.
 
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