Elections are a fundamental pillar of a democratic system that enables the general public to express their views in form of a vote. Due to its significance role to our society, the election process should be reliable and transparent in order to ensure participants of its credibility.
In an election when we’re voting through Ballot papers or computing mechanism, have we wondered if there is any guarantee that our vote is being registered? That our vote is actual counted.
Though the Central Agency i.e., The Election Commission guaranteed that the vote scams will not take place. We have to blindly trust the election commission that our votes will be counted correctly.
But what if we could verify our votes without having to trust anyone else, that our vote has indeed counted. If we could guarantee this ourselves and no central agency, Election Commission or any third party was required. And for such a system, Blockchains are a technology that provide guarantees about process integrity.
Blockchain is the same technology on which Bitcoin and many digital currencies are based. Some believe that this technology can revolutionize the entire Voting system.
Blockchain is a technique to store information. In Blockchain the data can be store in a decentralized manner where there will be no central authority to control the data and information.
In the Blockchain, the information is structured in the forms of blocks. Blockchain technology provides a platform of a highly secure, decentralized, anonymized, auditable chain of record.
Every block is linked with each other. And the most Unique things is that if anyone wants to change the data in any block or try to tamper or alter with the data then the Fingerprint or the Hash of the block will change.
If the hash of one block changes, the hash of the next block will also be change and eventually entire blockchain will be destroyed. For this reason, it is impossible to alter or tamper with the data in a blockchain.
The major reason for Blockchain being secure is Decentralization. Blockchain is not stored in only one computer. It is stored in a network of computers. Instead of central authority, it is managed and run by a network of computers collectively.
Whenever new data is added to the blockchain, one can verify whether the person adding the data has done so properly or not. Whether it is an attempt or tempering.
Any computer connected to this network can see the data added to the blockchain and verify it. There is no involvement of any third party or no need for any Central Authority. This is why it guarantees that the election process can be conducted in a manner where we vote and can verify whether our vote has been counted or not by ourselves.
Blockchain-based elections are being trialed in many countries. In 2018, the Thai Democrat Party, held a primary election to elect its new party leader, marking the first large-scale political election carried out using blockchain technology. In this way. a country in Africa: Sierra Leone, Blockchains were used during the elections for Voting.
There is also an outgoing debate whether Blockchain technology for elections and Voting is Right or not. Many disadvantages are carried out that there is a chance of increase getting hacked even though it is difficult to hack the Blockchain and attacks can be carried out where the network can be switched off along with a chance of invade of privacy.
There is also an example where blockchain voting protocols get hacked. Two years ago, a blockchain voting tech company called Voatz was all the rage, but last year, some MIT researchers discovered a string of critical security vulnerabilities in their platform. Similarly in Moscow, a month before for election, the blockchain voting system that was going to be used for an upcoming election got hacked.
Therefore, some companies working to bring blockchain to the voting populace. Many experts are finding that blockchain’s primary value lies in its ability to improve old systems. Especially after the misinformation surrounding U.S. presidential elections in 2020, the world may be ready for blockchain voting on larger scales.
With both pros and cons, experts believe that blockchain voting software should be designed more carefully, and scaled up slowly and incrementally over time for a direct democracy, where people can directly decide the course of policy themselves, rather than rely on representatives to do it for them.
It is believed that Blockchain technology can play important role in the domain of electronic voting due to the inherent nature of preserving anonymity and maintaining decentralized.