If you have been following banking, investing, or cryptocurrency, you may be familiar with “blockchain,” the record-keeping technology behind the Bitcoin network. The interest in how blockchain technology can be involved in today’s industries and particularly in online voting protocols is on the rise. In Open Blockchain anyone can publish a transaction and participate in the network by adhering to a set of published rules. How can blockchain technology ensure online voting privacy, security, and suitability?
- Pro’s: Open blockchains can be used for the distributed immutability of data, ensuring data has not been changed after its publication.
- Con’s: Open blockchains by default do not provide data encryption, a key element in ensuring voting secrecy, and voter privacy.
Anonymity & Authenticity
A key requirement for online voting security is that outsiders cannot have access information about the way in which someone votes or even to manipulate their vote. Especially in elections, for citizens to cast a vote, they need to be eligible. In order to be eligible, there needs to be a solid way of verifying that. There’s a challenge in balancing these requirements.
You want person A to be able to see that’s their vote, but you don’t want anyone else to see what their vote is. So the BIG challenge is how to keep votes anonymous and at the same time allow voters to check safely their encrypted votes.
In online voting, voters’ authentication cannot be carried out physically in front of election managers, and that the vote is not put in the ballot box by the voter. In an online election, privacy and anonymity might seem difficult to achieve, given the fact that voters must identify themselves within the same system that they are using to cast their ballot, and that their ballot is being transmitted from their device to a voting server. However, privacy and anonymity can be achieved in an online voting process and guarantee that votes are not known to anyone else and that their ballot has tampered.
The transition from paper voting to online voting will reduce expenses and will increase voters’ participation.
In our days, we are rethinking the worth of our physical presence in decision boards and meetings! We can engage online voting in our companies, organizations, local political groups, and learn from this experience. In this way, we can find what it takes to protect privacy, security, and auditability!
We have to escalate from small to large scale online votings cases!
The government and the general public have a tendency to move slowly when it comes to embracing certain innovations, notably with election security. With that in mind, it will be a while until online-based national elections experience widespread adoption. These systems need extensive testing before they can undergo distribution on a national scale. We need more time to adopt and evaluate what we could gain and what the risks are. We have to escalate from small to large scale!