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Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
The first time I thought about the idea that electronic voting could work came as a result of reading the still-excellent 1975 novel The Shockwave Rider, by John Brunner.
From 0700 local until 1900 every veephone on the continent would display, over and over, two propositions, accompanied by a spoken version for the benefit of the illiterate. Most would be in English, but some would be in Spanish, some in Amerind languages, some in Chinese ... the proportions being based on the latest continental census. After each repetition would follow a pause, during which any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a "yes" or "no."
(Read more about Brunner's proposal for electronic voting)
As far as anyone knows, the first election verified with blockchain took place in Sierra Leone this past week.
Swiss-based blockchain startup Agora oversaw the voting process, logging each paper ballot cast in Sierra Leone’s most populous region into a blockchain network.
“I strongly believe that this election is the beginning of a much larger blockchain voting movement,” Agora CEO Leonardo Gammar told Coindesk on Thursday.
Gammar is not alone. Many believe blockchain technology could go a long way in creating a secure platform for digital elections, because it creates an unassailable ledger of transactions. The blockchain works by utilizing a distributed network of connected computers — all transactions are stored in a shared public record, so there is no main hub vulnerable to attack. In a blockchain election, each transaction represents one vote, and because a blockchain is tamper-proof, election results would perfectly reflect the vote without fear of hacking or fraud.
At least, that’s what blockchain proponents hope. The Sierra Leone election is an important milestone in testing these lofty ideals. Agora has shared their blockchain data with independent election overseers, and the company hopes that by creating a fully auditable database of election results it will assuage any skepticism about the election’s legitimacy.
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