A few weeks have passed since the marginal election of the United States, but Donald Trump, the current president and the loser in the eyes of the media, has not yet conceded defeat. He has accused election organizers in various states of fraud.
The truth is that the problem of the possibility of electoral fraud has always existed in different countries, even in a country like the United States that has more than two centuries of democracy and elections. But will there be alternatives to traditional methods of holding elections? Kevin Telegraph in an essay The impact of Blockchain technology on elections and the various dimensions of the use of this technology in voting systems have been explored. To read this article, stay tuned to Digital Currency.
The outbreak of coronavirus has had a major impact on people’s lives, the relationship between governments and citizens, the global economy and, of course, the US presidential election.
Many American voters, in line with social distancing policies, decided to send their ballots by post to polling stations. This made the counting process longer. Trump, who has long said he is skeptical of postal votes, has sued the electoral process in several states, sparking controversy over the proper functioning of the current US electoral system.
The current voting system in the digital age
Many experts have suggested that in the current context, mobile voting could replace traditional face-to-face voting and allow citizens to vote without leaving home.
For many years we have all been able to make our purchases online and do our job even without being at work and remotely, especially in the current context of the Corona epidemic. But still in the traditional voting system, candidates must cast their ballots in person at a specific time and place.
Is this traditional system compatible with the spirit of the digital age, in which information technology has been able to transform and facilitate communications, data transmission, and transactions?
How can voting take place in absentia and remotely without compromising election security?
Today, it can be argued that by adding Blockchain solutions to mobile voting processes, it is possible to increase the degree of trust in the electoral system and to conduct the election process smoothly and without tension.
By combining hash sequencing and cryptography into a distributed structure, voter identity and the accuracy of all votes registered on the Blockchain platform can be protected. Therefore, it is possible to obtain and register votes in a transparent and secure manner in the electoral system.
Imagine how good it would be if you could check whether your vote for your preferred candidate was really counted and whether your identity was properly hidden in the process. Such a feature is available with Blockchain technology.
Blockchain-based pilot election projects
For the past two years, constituencies in several US states have tested mobile blockchain-based mobile voting in state, federal and city elections. The original purpose of testing such a method was to make it possible to obtain the votes of military personnel or citizens residing in other countries by means of mobile phones and tablets, instead of using mail, fax, and paper methods.
West Virginia, for example, made state-of-the-art mobile voting possible in 2018 for state and federal elections. Denver, Colorado, Utah, Utah, and two other cities in Oregon tested several e-voting projects earlier in 2019 for municipal elections. In total, 29 counties in five different states have tested the Voatz mobile voting app in official elections.
In all of these examples, election officials surprisingly acknowledged that with the help of the Blockchain, the ballot counting process has become much easier and more transparent.
Hence, many proponents of decentralization have called for the use of Blockchain technology in all US elections.
Because of the well-functioning mobile voting system, many prominent political figures have praised the Blockchain-based mobile voting system, including Bradley Tusk, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, strategist, and founder of the Charitable Foundation. Mike Queen, a West Virginia state official, and Jocelyn Bucaro, Denver’s chief of staff, are other prominent figures who have expressed satisfaction with the mobile electoral system.
However, we must not forget that we live in an age of social dichotomy, and many oppose mobile voting or the Blockchain. Among them is Jeremy Epstein, a member of the Computer Technology Association of the United States Technology Policy Committee. It is noteworthy that Epstein has previously co-authored a report entitled “Email and Internet Voting: The Ignored Threat to Election Security.”
The report, co-authored by various organizations, including the Common Cause Foundation, the National Defense Defense Coalition and the R Street Institute, cites online voting and the Blockchain as potential targets for cyber-attacks by foreign intelligence agencies. It has been mentioned and specified that the transfer of ballots on the Internet, whether in the form of fax, e-mail or Blockchain systems, can be dangerous.
Despite the advantages and disadvantages of each of the traditional and mobile voting methods, is there a solution that can protect citizens’ votes against fraud? In these ways, how can voters be authenticated? What strategies can be used to implement the authentication process in the voting process and how do these strategies work?
Is the Blockchaink the right solution?
The Voatz app mentioned earlier looks for vulnerabilities and danger signs from the start. If the app detects that a cell phone is compromised, it will not allow the user to vote. If the app can pass proud security tests, the voter will be able to easily authenticate on their phone via fingerprint or face recognition method.
The voter can then complete his or her authentication by presenting his or her identity documents, such as a driver’s license or passport and taking a selfie. Finally, by touching his phone’s fingerprint sensor, he proves that the phone is really in his hands. At this point, the Voatz app matches the voter’s selfie with his or her credentials and, after reviewing all the information recorded, confirms that the voter can register his or her vote.
In addition, voters can use other apps or devices, such as the Apple Watch, Google Authenticator, or YubiKey, to authenticate themselves. They can also use SMS or even e-mail to receive their verification code for further enforcement.
Cyber security in Blockchaink voting
From a cybersecurity perspective, all software is vulnerable and can not be ignored. Denial-of-service attacks can not be ignored. Therefore, it is important to have backup methods to strengthen the infrastructure to prevent attacks and damage to voting systems.
Meanwhile, the Blockchaink section of the electronic voting system is associated with the least likelihood of security breaches. The Blockchain, of course, is just one of several factors influencing voting, which includes various steps, including verification, verification, and security.
The Voatz blockchain pursues a specific goal, which is to distribute registered voting data to make remote attacks more difficult. The Blockchain also allows election-based auditors to conduct cryptocurrency audits.
The most important security risk that threatens to vote through the Blockchaink is the part of the constituency where ballot papers are printed with a hash or cryptographic key. These ballots, after being stored in voting systems, are digitized and then read by reading systems. At this point, the clue to the voting process in the Voatz app is lost.
In addition to security issues, another ambiguity in Blockchaink-based voting is how aggregated ballots are processed and the authenticity of ballots in the Blockchain solution.
The Voatz app, for example, uses a 32-node blockchain infrastructure on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, each of which hosts 16 nodes across the United States. Cloudflare از is one of the companies that provides DDoS attack protection services, and according to Voatz application managers, the system protects its security by using global encryption and multi-factor authentication on infrastructure nodes.
Another Blockchaink voting solution was implemented in 2016 in Colombia. The initiative, entitled “Voting for the Chinese Bloc in the Service of Peace,” was implemented at a 2016 referendum in Colombia by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In this strategy, a non-profit organization called the Democracy Earth Foundation created a Blockchain platform that allowed Colombians living abroad to symbolically participate in a referendum on a peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. FARC) participate. The interesting point here is the possibility of creating a democratic cover by the Blockchain.
It is no exaggeration to say that in the not-too-distant future, many countries will see the Blockchain as an ideal technology for holding elections in societies that are moving faster than ever before.
With all these details, even if China’s blockchain technology matures and effectively improves the legitimacy and accuracy of voting systems, will it be easily possible to overcome the cultural barriers and poverty of digital literacy?