The need for a blockchain voting system is something of a necessity now. In today’s world, people have this feeling of distrust towards their governments and organizations. People feel they are deprived of their basic human rights and they are not told the truth about things, which is their fundamental right. The main reason of all this is the lack of transparency between the people and government. Let it be the government or a citizen, he must have complained about the unfair elections that took place. The outcome of elections these days is usually shocking.
This issue was properly highlighted after the 2016 elections of the United States, where majority of the people were really shocked with the outcome of the results. In order to tackle these issues we have to focus on a few important things.
- Transparency of the votes.
- Provide ease to vote from home.
- Limit a single user to vote only once.
- People’s votes should be immutable.
Even though there are a few countries where computerized voting takes place, but those votes are stored in a centralized location and their location can be changed anytime. The need of an immutable permanent record is a must need to fix this issue.
Can a blockchain voting system be the solution to these problems, a technology that is taking over the industry one day at a time ?
Can blockchain be our savior?
Blockchain is a decentralized ledger that holds and stores transactions. Anyone connected to the nodes holds the copy of the ledger. In layman words, a ledger is given to everyone in a room and as long as more than 50% of the people accept what is written in the ledger, the rest of the people cant change it. In order for a change to occur more than 50% of the people have to say that yes lets accept this change and it will be accepted. So, injecting a fake record or changing a previous record is nearly impossible because you have to convince more than 50% of the people to register that fake entry with you. This is what provides the immutability of the blockchain that everyone on the node has to be informed of the change and more than 50% of the people have to accept that change into their ledgers as well.
Let us see how blockchain tackles the above mentioned issues.
Transparency of the votes:
Depending on the technology used blockchain provides options of creating a public, private or a hybrid blockchain. People can be given a public transparent blockchain where they can see their votes getting casted with time and see that it isn’t changed.
Provide ease to vote from home:
Provides a graphical user interface from which people can vote from their home and monitor the progress.
Limit a single user to vote only once
There is a mechanism that was introduced to stop double spending of bitcoins which limited the user to spend only the coins that he had and not double spend them somewhere else. So a system like that would be introduced that will provide every voter with only 1 token and once that token is spent then that user wont be able to vote again.
Peoples votes should be immutable
Since blockchain is connected block by block and every block holds the hash of the previous block behind it. This gives it an immutable nature that if someone wants to modify something they will disturb every block that was generated after that block and that would cause all the blockchain peers to take note of this and reject it before it gets accepted in the blockchain.
Blockchain based Voting System:
Blockchain voting system can be the answer to the critical issue of fair elections. Electing the right person is the most crucial thing right now as a leader can make or break the whole nation. the power should be with the people not with the individuals and blockchain has the power to do this. Blockchain due to this fast transactions, immutable nature and transparency seems like the right choice among the thousand of solutions people are suggesting to fix the voting system.
Blockchain voting system will provide a sense of integrity and will give back the confidence to the people as they will start to understand that their voices and choices are heard. it provides a secure and transparent transaction that can be permanent on the blockchain and will be visible for the years to come.
Security issue with the blockchain:
Like every system ever implemented or every technology ever introduced, there is a certain amount of security risk here as well . Blockchain has a higher security due to its decentralization and its cryptographically secured hashes, but there is no doubt that it can be hacked as well. Its not easy to do or even practical to do it as in order to bring a change to the data in the blockchain you need to take control of more than 50% of the Blockchain. If the blockchain is spread across millions of peers than it is nearly impossible with the current processing power to take control of the 51% of the blockchain.
Workflow of the blockchain voting system:
The workflow of the blockchain voting system would be that the registration of the organization and every voter would be done on the traditional system, after providing some certain amount of authenticity that the user have the right to vote. Every user is verified by the organization after the user has been authenticated, the user will be given the right to cast his vote on the system.
When a new election campaign is initiated a token is given to each user who has the right to vote and when a user casts his votes he submits that token. Once that token is used the user cannot cast another. This stops the user from casting more than one vote.
By looking at all the points and discussing them in detail, we can say that blockchain voting system is the right solution to make the election fair and online. On the other hand its not like this that blockchain voting system is the only and the best solution for the fix to the unfair voting but we can say that blockchain might be the technology that can make online voting a reality.
Read about all the industries that blockchain is changing in this blog here.
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