Jun 21st 2022 | 08:55 | 3 min read
While we have moved a significant part of our lives online, there is yet one part where we go paper – voting. Controversies revolving around the ballet systems in elections in the USA due to the Covid-19 pandemic specify the need to modernize voting mechanics.
Blockchain for elections can move the voting system to a digital process, an e-voting system, that offers more transparency and security, enhancing the much-needed trust in traditional election systems.
What are the shortcomings of the present election system?
Democracy is a synonym for the voting system. The election system involves massive undertakings such as initial voting, counting, rapid results tabulations, and complete transparency with near-zero errors. But presently, the voting process is quite vulnerable to misinformation. Fears of manipulating the voting system have held back the procedures for change.
Is an online voting system or EVMs a solution?
Presently, just a few countries use the online voting system, with most of them using EVMs (Electronic voting machines). But even with this process of voting, the voter must physically visit the polling booth, carry an ID card, and then cast their vote. Of course, EVMs offer speed for counting the ballots for highly populated countries such as India, Brazil, and the like. Estonia ran its elections electronically but had a full backup of a paper ballot. The Estonian citizens had both the options to vote electronically or physically at the booth. But in the latter case, the preference was for the paper ballot for their vote.
But even today, many mature democracies still have reservations regarding online voting due to the fear of fraud and hacking. EVMs or online election systems have their restrictions as they do not offer security and transparency – one of the significant concerns of democracies. Considering the aftermath of the USA Presidential elections 2020, we know that even the slightest perception of an unfair voting system is enough to delegitimize the candidates. There is a great need to develop fair, transparent, and secure voting systems for a true democracy – which is possible with blockchain solutions. Blockchain will also help prevent voter fraud.
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How blockchain for elections comes as a boon?
Blockchain technology can address the challenges of traditional election systems. Any blockchain-backed election application is not dependent on its internet connection’s security. Even the hacker having the terminal’s access cannot affect the other nodes. It’s seamless for the voters to cast their vote without fear of disclosing their political preferences or identities. Thus, benefits will be reaped by the generations to come.
– Even the officials will benefit from this technological set-up. The vote count will be done with complete certainty as there will be one vote per ID. It will also help avoid fake profile creation and tampering.
– Blockchain can be crucial to securing the voter registry. As per nature, blockchain audits the changes, furnishing information about the account that attempted the change and when.
– With the real-time tracking feature of blockchain technology, independent auditors can also keep track of any alterations made to voters’ records or verify suspicious activities.
– Voters can also vet and verify the vote they cast. It will also help monitor and tally the final results with the individual votes cast.
– With blockchain for elections, monitors can secure the data in the electoral process. The voter’s votes will get recorded on the blockchain. Thus chances of data manipulation are minimized.
Blockchain development – Paving the way for true democracy.
The question arises – will EVMs find themselves placed nicely in the museums? Whether the government will digitize the country’s electoral infrastructure? Together with IIT-Madras, the Election Commission of India has initiated a blockchain-backed project to find its uses in the electoral system. Blockchain development services are certain to bring about a global paradigm shift in the election system. Blockchain will, in the true sense, pave the way for democracy in India, USA, Asia, Europe, and the rest of the world..
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