Blockchain Technology in the Next Election

The question of election rigging in the United States has now been addressed in more than one election: the 2ooo Bush v Gore presidential elections and this past presidential election and in other nations around the world, news of election rigging is all too familiar. How do we solve this, and more specifically how do we solve this problem for future generations?

To avoid rigged elections, the future is e-voting using blockchain technology. Follow My Vote is a company that is practically spearheading the innovation behind allowing voters to vote online using end to end blockchain technology whose aim is to combat electoral fraud and protect user credentials. Their goal for future elections is to have voting without endless lines, fraudulent registration practices by simply using a webcam and a government issued ID. Because of the underlying blockchain technology, the virtual electoral process assures a quick and auditable process. It guarantees real time reflection on the process and cryptography would then ensure the security of one’s vote in the blockchain enabled voting platform.

Watch the video below for a visual understanding of how Follow my Vote works:

Of course there are skeptics who are opposed to the sudden branching out into using blockchain technology in the electoral process. One of the main fears is that blockchain is not fully matured as a technology for it to handle something as sensitive as voting. The other fear is that an online platform present risks for hackers who might compromise the authenticity of the process by “interception or malware” as Jeremy Clark, a specialist in cryptographic voting systems at Concordia University, advises. Although the skepticism is rational, the underlying issues currently being addressed when operationalizing blockchain are the ones being solved constantly to make it a viable technology, not only by firms such as Follow My Vote, but by central banks and corporations alike.

The fundamental reality is that sometimes various technologies are invented to maximize profit and win wars, but other times they are actually created to transform or have the capacity to transform injustice and unfairness experienced today and in the past. Using them for good, not only in the United States but globally, is significant. Eradicating the reality of fraudulent elections means setting up a future framework for free and fair elections that enable administrations to work for the benefit of their citizens, not the corrupt.

Here’s a Ted Talk by Santiago Siri to sum it all up:

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2 Responses to Blockchain Technology in the Next Election

  1. kaitlyn healy November 16, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    “Blockchain technology in the Next Election” is an article by Gerry Kiruthu and it looks into the idea of doing online voting and how it could change the corruption that is associated with elections. The company that is spearheading this technology for the future is a company called Follow my Vote. The idea of corruptions in elections is all too common and it prompted this technology to become invented. The article quotes the 2000 Bush Vs. Gore election where Al Gore won the popular vote and President Bush won the electoral vote but the discrepancies that occurred in Florida still leaves a question mark to how the election actually went. The article also talks about how people claim that elections are rigged and how there are so many accusations on how elections can be manipulated. Blockchain technology allows a person to vote in the privacy of their homes with the use of a computer and a government issued identification. It would be a virtual process with cryptography to ensure the security of one’s vote. This would eliminate a voting area and the chance for human manipulation. In this past election I suppose there was a lot of chance for manipulation and as passionate as people were for either candidate this year the idea of manipulation was all over the news.
    There are people who doubt this technology because they fear hackers would be able to break into this type of technology and manipulate the results but this type of technology known as blockchain is being used in banks and major companies to keep them safe and secure.
    The truth is no matter what we do to try to secure our voting there will be a criticism from someone, somewhere. People will always criticize when their candidate does not win. The election of 2000 seemed to have created a firestorm of conspiracy theories on how Al Gore did not win and since then the idea of election rigging seems to always be a hot topic. I think we have to move forward with technology and try to eliminate voting areas and have online voting as the only option. Right now I was astonished to find out that there are different kind of ways to cast a ballot all over the country. There are machines but all kinds, such as computerized and ones with levers there are even paper ballots in certain areas. So if we could move forward and make voting more accessible and private wouldn’t that be better? If someone is without the access to the internet the government could set up computers for them at libraries or schools. Also people could vote at any time and not have to worry about lines and getting to the polls before they close. Ideally they should make voting occur over the course of a week to ensure that the system wouldn’t crash.
    Bottom line is we as a country have to move forward and try our best to protect that our right to vote is safe and secure and it will always have the outcome the people want.

  2. Robert Luba November 18, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

    I vehemently agree there should be a new way of putting in your vote. Just before the election, there was strong recommendation from both parties to submit one’s vote on a paper ballot for fear of voter fraud. Although there have not been any large claims of fraud in the current election, the fear of it no doubt dissuaded plenty from submitting a vote at all for fear of it being discounted or counted against their candidate of choice. If voting turnout wasn’t poor enough, another reason not to vote is trouble. The franchised Americans need to have security and minimal frustration in exercising their civic duty.
    A problem people might have is that this is technology, and while most Americans are making the switch from paper to data, there is an inherent distrust and increasing reason to loss trust completely in use of technological security. I think the author presents an excellent point in saying that this will naturally be dismissed at first as being an easy target for hacking or other fraud, it would seem this is much more secure. Given its ability to be audited, the block-chain method is hyper effective when the electoral and popular votes are taken and counted. Not only would the electronic form of voting cut back on the time it takes to find out the outcome, as we learned can be a long time this year, but also leave little room for error in the way of quick efficient counting and presentation on news channels and the applications themselves.
    It is good to see a business be made off of a great demand of an entire nation. As the article notes, there was great dispute over the fraudulency of the election in two thousand. Now, again, people are worried about the security of their vote and their right to have a say in the leadership of the nation. The business that created the application in the article, Follow My Vote, is simply presenting a viable solution to the problem that has most of the nation insecure.
    Just as well, the simplification of the voting system down to an app will, while I’m sure take much of the seriousness and formality away from voting, allow for many more to participate. While not everyone is sure of where they are meant to vote come election day, just about everyone can find a computer if they need to. The switch, given it is fully explained, made easy, and widely advertised to those who are enfranchised, will work much better than the current system.
    While it may take an election or two to prove itself viable, this new form of accepting votes on the popular and electoral level will undoubtedly prove efficient and effective when it comes election times. Its simplicity and ease may even allow for more frequent vote on lesser issues for a more effective reading of public opinion. The technology is new, but so was all other forms of technology as some point. Time will tell of its success or failure.

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