In light of the 2020 US General Election, the integrity of our elections have been brought into question by more than half of all Americans and much of the whole world. That being said, there is still hope to restore our faith in elections again and that hope and faith may be in blockchain technology.
On February 8th, 2019 the United States Postal Service applied for a new Blockchain Voting Patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Forbes did an article about this as well. This technology uses a blockchain ledger along with paper ballots that can either use a unique Qr code or a digital watermark.
How Secure is Blockchain Voting?
To answer this question, you just need to ask yourself how secure is Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The answer is, if someone could hack Bitcoin, they’d be an instant billionaire.
Without getting into the techie details, each vote or ballot is like a Bitcoin. When the vote is cast, that is the exact function as when a Bitcoin is spent. This means it gets locked into the blockchain ledger with an encryption that compounds the security of the encryption with each vote that gets cast.
Another very important feature is that blockchain ballots cannot be counterfeited, the same way that you cannot counterfeit a Bitcoin.
Its estimated that even if you combined the computing power of the worlds most powerful super computers, it would still take around 10,000 years before the encryption is hacked.
How Transparent is Blockchain Voting?
The blockchain is not only amazingly secure but every single transaction recorded, locked into a ledger can be queried and viewed. The blockchain is named as such because every entry loops like a chain with the entry before and the entry after it. In order to remove or edit one vote, you would have to unravel the entire chain. You will be able to view and confirm your vote in a secure but transparent way.
Where Can Fraud Still Be Committed?
While the blockchain is secure and transparent, its only as good as the votes being entered into it. Therefore, the areas for fraud can still persist but only in the voting rolls. Some examples are, bloated rolls with more ballots than registered voters, dead people, duplicates with misspelled names, people voting in two states, illegal aliens and more can still be issued blockchain ballots.
There’s no such as a perfect system but at least, this minimizes the potential for fraud and allows us to focus on the voter registration rolls, rather than human error, software glitches and partisan poll workers.