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Electing through blockchain. Achievable? - Part I

Elections cost money and need confidence. What if they can retain confidence with little money?

Author: Andrea Casetta

The right to vote is key to every democratic process. However, it may also be more costly than other rights. The electoral system has to be both capillary and trustworthy. This implies the need for people, such as scrutineers, and equipment, such as movable ballots. Most of these costs are overlooked by taxpayers, who demand for more and more engagement in decision-making.

Then, why not get rid of these costs? That’s something that would be possibly achieved in the future thanks to the Blockchain. Many method are starting to be developed, with countries ready to undertake their experimentation. And many proposals are discussed online. The most interesting and structured one seems to be the one named Polys. Launched by Kaspersky Lab, it is already been used in many contexts, such as in budgeting voting or election in Universities. The key-features are those specific of cryptocurrencies transactions:  ease in organization and voting; immutability, anonymity, and transparency.

But how voting really works on the blockchain? Everything is made via a third party’s application. The app provides each user a personal key. The key is used after the vote is casted by the user to encrypt his or her vote. Then, as it happens to cryptocurrency-base transactions, the vote it is recorded in the blockchain. It is easier to visualize in another way: imagine having a bitcoin. To vote for the representative of your choice, casting the ballot will be as easy as transferring that bitcoin to him or her. As said previously, thanks to the similarity of the process, each vote has the same characteristic of a Bitcoin transactions.

In future articles, we will discuss further the advantages of such practice and some of the Polys’ success story.

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