In light of the election in Germany yesterday, we thought we’d take the opportunity to offer a bit of information on how Blockchain has the potential to transform voting in the future. After the U.S. election last November, Blockchain entered the conversation regarding how countries could make elections transparent and protect results from manipulation. Several weeks ago hackers at the DEF CON hacking conference proved voting machines in the U.S. to be highly susceptible to attacks (read more here). Germany still uses a paper ballot system and has prohibited digital voting due to risk of manipulation.
Paper ballots outdated but Germany sees no other option
Paper ballot systems carry a number of disadvantages including high amount of manual work, high time expenditure for counting votes, high costs, high susceptibility to manipulation, and no permanent record of votes cast. Digitalising the process can address the first three issues, however the last two require more advanced measures – that’s where Blockchain comes in to address the issues keeping Germany from adopting digital voting.
Blockchain eliminates obstacles to modernization
Blockchain has the potential to modernise voting with computers through its ability to create a permanent, transparent record of events that is secure from manipulation. Blockchain would log votes as transactions, writing them in to the Blockchain where a certain number of votes would form a block. Many copies of such blocks would be distributed throughout a decentralised database, eliminating control by a single party.
A transparent record of votes would always be available, and voters could even check to see that their votes had been counted correctly. Manipulation of databases using Blockchain is nearly impossible because when one node is fails, the others remain accessible and contain copies of the certified data.