October 2021

Blockchain Voting: The End To End Process

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A blockchain, initially a chain of blocks, is a growing list of blocks combined with cryptographic connections. Each block contains a hash, timestamp, and transaction data from the previous block. Voting is a new phase of blockchain technology; in this area, the researchers are trying to leverage benefits such as transparency, secrecy, and non-repudiation that are essential for voting applications . With the usage of blockchain for electronic voting applications, efforts such as utilizing blockchain technology to secure and rectify elections have recently received much attention . On the other hand, voting on the blockchain will be an encrypted piece of data that is fully open and publicly stored on a distributed blockchain network rather than a single server. A consensus process on a blockchain mechanism validates each encrypted vote, and the public records each vote on distributed copies of the blockchain ledger .

The idea of utilizing blockchain technology to create a tamper-resistant electronic/online voting network is gaining momentum . End users would not notice a significant difference between a blockchain-based voting system and a traditional electronic voting system. They stimulated the application of blockchain technology in efforts to improve numerous spheres. A smart contract itself is nothing more than a piece of logic written in code. Still, it can act as an unconditionally trusted third party in conjunction with the immutability provided by a blockchain data structure and distributed consensus .

Voting machines break down, software fails and election irregularities often create uncertainty and doubt among the voting public. Images from Arizona in 2016 showed lines of people waiting up to five hours to vote in just a primary election. Much of this had to do with the closing of voting locations to reduce costs, and some may contend that it was due to more people coming out to vote for certain candidates. Either way, the reality of this shows that in a time of technological advancement that includes self-driving cars, it seems there must a better way of voting than the way it’s being handled today. As the name “blockchain” conveys, it is a record of transactions (“blocks”) that are each linked to the one before it (“chained”).

Researchers suggested modifications to current peer-to-peer protocols to make them more energy-efficient . In blockchain technology, transactional anonymity and privacy are difficult to accomplish . However, transactional secrecy and anonymity are required in an election system due to the presence of the transactions involved. For this purpose, a third-party authority required but not centralized, this third-party authority should check and balance on privacy.

The co-owning organizations must reach consensus on each ballot to be stored in the blockchain, and the final set of ballots in the blockchain will be the basis for the final vote counts. But a majority of co-owners might agree on a fraudulent set of ballots leading https://forexaggregator.com/ to declaring the wrong winners. Alternatively, outsider attackers such as other nation states or foreign criminal organizations might penetrate the servers, injecting malicious software to create the same effect as collusion to rig the election remotely.

Blockchain is a technology that is rapidly gaining momentum in era of industry 4.0. With high security and transparency provisions, it is being widely used in supply chain management systems, healthcare, payments, business, IoT, voting systems, etc. Russia is another country to test the capabilities of blockchain technology for enhancing balloting. In 2020, the IT Department of Moscow piloted the country’s first blockchain-secured remote voting system.

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Yi presented the blockchain-based electronic voting Scheme that offered methods for improving electronic voting security in the peer-to-peer network using blockchain technology. A BES is based on the distributed ledger may be employed to avoid vote falsification. In this technique, counter-measurement assaults constitute a significant issue. This method necessitates the involvement of responsible third parties and is not well suited to centralized usage in a system with many agents. A distributed process, i.e., the utilization of secure multipart computers, may address the problem.

what is blockchain voting

Last month, South Korea announced the setting up of an online voting system based on blockchain technology, becoming the first country to do so. The new voting system will securely and electronically store the process and AWS Certified Solutions Architect Certification Boot Camp the result of a ballot in a blockchain, preventing document forgery or alteration, according to media reports. Section 2 explains how blockchain technology works, and a complete background of this technology is discussed.

Buterin viewed encryption as a way to get around the privacy conundrum. Still, blockchain technology’s potential vis-a-vis public elections has been highlighted off and on for some time now. No country has yet to use blockchain technology in a national election. Vote correctness is possible in other online voting systems that warn a voter if there ballot has the potential to be marked as invalid for not following the election rules. This “trust-less” nature of blockchain voting is crucial to improving the transparency of elections and increasing public confidence in our political systems.

To make any change to the existing data on the network, the hacker or any fraudster would need to have a consensus, which implies “forcing” 51% of the total nodes to default simultaneously. Since it is practically and computationally impossible to do, the probability of a record getting changed stands next to zero. This characteristic is probably the most celebrated property of this technology that makes it suitable for voting systems. We have much more work to do to assure that all Americans can vote easily and safely while maintaining justified confidence in the security of elections.

Lack of Proper Technology Integration

The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. But there’s still room for improvement, especially in developing countries where elections are rife with reports of violence and intimidation against voters. Blockchain voting also works for electing non-political leaders, especially in business.

The blockchain concept and its uses are presented first, followed by existing electronic voting systems. Then, a set of deficiencies in existing electronic voting systems are identified and addressed. The blockchain’s potential is fundamental to enhance electronic voting, current solutions for blockchain-based electronic voting, and possible research paths on blockchain-based electronic voting systems. Numerous experts believe that blockchain may be a good fit for a decentralized electronic voting system. There is no regulatory authority to restrict invalid voters from casting a vote, and it is not secure from quantum attach. Moreover, their scheme using Distributed consensus in which testimonies can be organized into cartels because fewer people keep the network active, a “51%” attack becomes easier to organize.

  • For this reason, Scytl’s proposal is to store auditing information in a blockchain, but ensuring this information does not contain personal data.
  • The implementation of the electronic voting method in blockchain is very significant .
  • 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.

At a minimum, however, we must avoid the built-in structural risks common to all forms of online voting. Think tank Brookings Institution, blockchain voting, or decentralized voting, has the potential to solve a number of problems like combating voter fraud and ensuring every vote is counted. This would be thanks in part to the nature of blockchain technology and how it stores and transmits information. At Follow My Vote, we want every voter to have faith in the democratic process, trust in their government, and feel like their voice matters. To this end, our blockchain voting solution provides voters with a way to confirm that their voice has been heard and that election results, as a whole, are truly accurate.

Blockchain-Related Voting System Startups

Shahzad et al. proposed the BSJC proof of completeness as a reliable electronic voting method. On a smaller scale, it also attempted to address anonymity, privacy, and security problems in the election. The proof of labor, for example, is a mathematically vast and challenging job that requires a tremendous amount of energy to complete.

what is blockchain voting

That said, Goggin noted that many governments will probably opt to use private blockchains in line with their own privacy/data laws, and there are many ways to set up permissioned blockchains. But, if they don’t at least offer the public an auditable trace of voting records, then they aren’t likely to boost the public’s belief in election integrity. In October, Greenland was reported to be exploring the feasibility of an online voting platform for its national elections. Since voters need to go online to use blockchain-enabled e-voting applications, they may be unable to participate in elections. The combination of blockchain and voting could be the ultimate solution for protecting voters during elections.

Blockchain for online voting?

Electronic voting is usually defined as voting that is supported by some electronic hardware and software. Such regularities should be competent in supporting/implementing various functions, ranging from election setup through vote storage. Kiosks at election offices, laptops, and, more recently, mobile devices are all examples of system types.

How Blockchain Technology Can Prevent Voter Fraud

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. The idea of improving voting with the technology popularized by bitcoin dates back to at least 2012. Proof of Works are based on cryptographic operations by means of which each miner tries to find the hash of a certain block by using arbitrary numbers. Hashes, very simply put, are an enciphered string of numbers that are generated via an algorithm to represent certain data. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work.

The above-mentioned crucial concerns should be addressed in more depth during actual voting procedures, based on experience. As a result, electronic voting systems should initially be implemented in limited pilot areas before being expanded. Electronic voting over a secure and dependable internet will need substantial security improvements. Despite its appearance as an ideal solution, the blockchain system could not wholly address the voting system’s issues due to these flaws. This research revealed that blockchain systems raised difficulties that needed to be addressed and that there are still many technical challenges.

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. 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. You might feel that the voting system does not face any cyber threat, but the real scenario is much worse.