By Carl T – March 19, 2019
Denver Became The Second US Jurisdiction To Pilot A Blockchain Voting Platform
A few days ago, Denver became the second jurisdiction to pilot a Blockchain mobile voting platform for the municipal election. With blockchain technology, it is possible for individuals to vote for different issues through an application. The voting will start on March 23 and it will run until May 7.
New Blockchain-Powered Vote In Denver
Individuals in Denver will be now able to vote using blockchain technology. The Tusk Philanthropy foundation and the Boston-based company Voatz, decided to be in charge of the initiative. The National Cybersecurity Center has also been part of this partnership with the intention of raising awareness of cyber threats.
Back in 2018, 150 individuals decided to cast ballots using their mobile phones. Virginia was the first initiative of this kind. However, the Denver vote has the potential to include a larger number of individuals in the pilot. There are 4,000 individuals that would be able to vote on this blockchain-based initiative.
Until now, this might be the largest political campaign to be held in the United States using blockchain technology. There are other initiatives around the world that have also implemented distributed ledger technology to improve the transparency of the elections.
According to a recent report released by Cointelegraph, the intention behind Tusk Philanthropies is to fix the American democracy by increasing voter turnout. In this way, it would be possible to improve the quality of political representation.
In an email received by Cointelegraph, Sheila Nix, the president of Tusk Philanthropies, commented:
“Blockchain is the most secure option that exists right now but we are vendor and technology agnostic and are open to new solutions in the future. We think there is a lot of growth potential for blockchain-based voting – especially due to auditability features.”
It is worth mentioning that the new blockchain-based system is not expected to be replacing paper-based ballots. Indeed, the intention is to keep using them and complement the system with blockchain technology to target absentee voters that work in the military or just live overseas.
At the moment, these individuals that are located overseas have to vote using a printed ballot that is sent by email. Other countries send paper ballots via traditional mail, including Italy. Both the virtual and the letter methods are not as secure as using blockchain technology. They can be attacked and modified at all times if desired.
Users will have to request an absentee ballot, install the Voatz application and go through a biometric authentication process. Users have to submit a photograph of their voter’s ID and a 10-second video.
After the announcement, 90 individuals from Denver’s military and overseas jurisdictions signed up to vote using their phones in the coming municipal election cycle.
Although this seems very positive for the future of blockchain voting, there are many challenges that must be faced before it reaches a larger percentage of the population around the world.