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Blockchain Could Be Implemented In Electoral Voting As Soon As 2019 | Digital Trends

Blockchain Could Be Implemented In Electoral Voting As Soon As 2019 | Digital Trends

Posted on April 16, 2018 - 3:00AM 4.16.18 - 3:00AM Two major election scandals have plagued the United States over the past twenty years. In 2000, there were widespread reports of a miscount. In 2016, it was alleged that various individuals had committed voter fraud by casting ballots in more than one state. This article is part of our series Blockchain beyond Bitcoin . Bitcoin is the beginning, but its far from the end. To help you wrap your head around why, were taking a deep dive into the world of blockchain. In this series, well go beyond cryptocurrency and hone in on blockchain applications that could reshape medical records, voting machines, video games, and more. Running parallel to these incidents is an effort to use technology to uphold the electoral process. The rise of blockchain in the collective consciousness has led some to argue that it might provide a solution, but others maintain that its not the silver bullet its being made out to be. Blockchain can underpin a tamper-proof ledger of information that the public could access without security concerns. Its combination of anonymous use and decentralized data storage has encouraged a bevy of start-ups to examine blockchain as a way to make voting fair, accountable, and secure. Could blockchain help tackle these problems? We asked experts working in the field. Joe Kiniry, the CEO of Free And Fair, has spent his life focusing on computer systems that need to be impeccably secure; the technology that makes sure planes dont fall from the sky, pacemakers dont fail, and elections arent compromised. I got interested in elections per se because I grew up in Florida, said Kiniry when he spoke to Digital Trends last month. The 2000 election, Bush v. Gore in Florida, was a debacle. I thought, hey, computers could hel Continue reading >>

Portugal Govt To Use Blockchain To Vote Best Un Project For Humanity - The Sociable

Portugal Govt To Use Blockchain To Vote Best Un Project For Humanity - The Sociable

Read More: Trust no one: the story of Blockchain and Bitcoin The GovTech competition begins in May and will award 30,000 to three startups or teams that create a prototype that will help solve the problems of humanity. Apart from the 30,000 prizes, the three winners will also take homea protocol of collaboration with the government of Portugal to develop the product, a working space in an incubator, internationalization support with the sponsorship of the Cames Institute, and three Alpha tickets for the Web Summit, with exhibitor rights, reported Dirio de Notcias . Registration closes on June 8. The contest will run until October and the platform was created by Bright Pixel which, together with the government, will help manage the site. The GovTech initiative is aimed at solving the UNs2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , which outlines 17 goals. GovTech wants to respond to the 17 sustainable development goals defined by the UN, with which the Portuguese State has committed itself. We are looking for products or services that present solutions to the problems, said Fonseca. The winners of Portugals GovTech initiative will be chosen by a jury and by the general public, who will be able to register on the platform and vote for their preferred candidates. it is a virtual investment, in a scheme of exchange and reward, but it is also a way to mobilize the people, said Fonseca. Read More: Portugal has a StartUp Visa and is now accepting applications Although many assimilate blockchain with the likes Bitcoin, the technology is actually being used in many innovative ways that do not include cryptocurrencies. For example,blockchain startup, Devery , is working with the UN World Food Program , along with the Tunisian Ministry of Education to implement a blockchain-based tr Continue reading >>

The Online Voting Platform Of The Future - Follow My Vote

The Online Voting Platform Of The Future - Follow My Vote

Follow My Vote's ambition is to build a secure online voting platform that will allowfor greater election transparency. Since the dawn of democracy, elections throughout the world have been plagued with accusations of illegitimacy . As democratic societies across the globe are beginning to adopt technology to improve the efficiency of the election process, many people are discovering that certain types of technology can be extremely vulnerable , which may have the potential to unfairly influence the outcome of elections. Only those that are on the forefront of technological advancement realize today what the majority of people will become aware of tomorrow, which is that there was a technological solution that was recently introduced to mankind that has the ability to solve both of these critical issues: the lack of transparency in our elections and the lack of security of our election systems. Using this advanced technology we will be able to gain transparency into our elections, without compromising voter privacy, and have a way to mathematically prove that the elections results are accurate . Also, at the voters request, there would even be a way to allow a voter to cast their vote online in an election and follow their vote into the ballot box to ensure that their vote was safely and securely stored without being changed or altered in any way. Typically, when cutting edge technology is introduced to the masses, there is an increased financial burden placed on early adopters whom are willing to pay the higher cost in order to take advantage of the additional benefits the new technology provides. Contrary to this trend, this particular technology could actually drastically reduce the costs of our elections and free up taxpayer money to be spent on other extremely imp Continue reading >>

Can Blockchain Bring Voting Online?

Can Blockchain Bring Voting Online?

Blockchain has the potential to bring online voting to the mainstream, but some experts worry security concerns outweigh its potential benefits. Should somebody develop a means of conducting elections online that the nation finds acceptably secure and private, it could very well transform democracy for the better. It is the hope of those people working on such efforts and no stretch of the imagination to those who arent that online voting would mean more participation from a more representative portion of the people, faster results and even unchallengeable records of the outcome. The minor mountain standing in the way of this vision is, to simplify the issue, cybersecurity. The public is treated regularly to stories of vaunted, savvy organizations brought low at the hands of faceless hackers. The victims: Target, Sony, Equifax, LinkedIn, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. When hackers hit Dyn, the service that helps browsers find websites, the East Coast effectively lost large pieces of the Internet. Blockchain: Is it a Transformative Tech for Government? Illinois Announces Key Partnership in Birth Registry Blockchain Pilot And then there was the hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign, followed by election system breaches in multiple states. The resulting political chaos has led some, such as U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., to propose disconnecting voting machines from the Internet entirely. My recommendation, said Ron Rivest, a computer science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for more than four decades, is to have all voting be done on paper. Why? Because paper inherently solves all the most pressing concerns about elections: It is secure from hackers because one ca Continue reading >>

Blockchain Voting Is Here For Enterprise, But Where Are The Users?

Blockchain Voting Is Here For Enterprise, But Where Are The Users?

Blockchain Voting Is Here for Enterprise, But Where Are the Users? Jan 3, 2018 at 08:10 UTC|UpdatedJan 5, 2018 at 23:27 UTC Central securities depositories (CSDs) are perhaps among some of the most surprising adopters of blockchain technology. Not that long ago, these middlemen, which today hold onto corporate stocks and bonds to simplify the trading process, were a favorite target of blockchain disruptors. Now, they are among some of the most avid explorers of the technology. But rather than build distributed ledger technology into their core services, perhaps helping pave the way for their own disintermediation, CSDs have instead identified a use case on the periphery of their services as most ripe for innovation. Called proxy voting, the term denotes the process by which stockholders cast votes at a corporate annual general meeting (AGM), without actually attending the meeting. But the system of using qualified representatives to vote on behalf of a corporate or individual stockholder not only results in extreme delays, it creates a layer of uncertainty preventing voters from having the assurance their vote has been counted. As a result, CSDs and other proxy voting technology developers have used a diverse set of blockchains to build products designed to remove middlemen, accelerate votes and give voters 100 percent confidence their vote was counted -- and counted properly. But as CoinDesk discovered in a wide-ranging series of interviews with those builders, actually selling such potentially revolutionary blockchain solutions isn't always as easy as building them. Among a number of obstacles confronted by CSD executives interviewed by CoinDesk, one particularly illustrative obstacle is that not everyone actually wants more transparency. Russia's National Securities Continue reading >>

West Virginia Piloting Blockchain Voting App In Senate Election

West Virginia Piloting Blockchain Voting App In Senate Election

West Virginia Piloting Blockchain Voting App in Senate Election Mar 29, 2018 at 09:00 UTC|UpdatedMar 29, 2018 at 09:03 UTC West Virginia is trialing a voting system for absentee voters in the military using a mobile app powered by blockchain technology. In a statement Thursday, the West Virginia Secretary of State,Mac Warner, said the pilot is being offered to deployed military personnel and their dependents from the counties of Harrison and Monongalia for the May 8 election for West Virginia's Senate primary election. The application is said to provide a more secure and anonymous method for absentee residents to cast their votes. According to a white paper about the pilot project, lending technological support isVoatz, a voting technology startup that has previously raised $2.2 million from Medici Ventures, thesubsidiary of online retail giant Overstock.com. The effort comes as a result of technological obstacles that absentee voters from the military have encountered with the current "cumbersome" system, according to Warner. "Absentee ballot systems previously offered to overseas military voters did not ensure anonymity, and many military voters were concerned their mail-in or faxed ballots may not be received in time, or may not be counted. The new mobile voting system resolves these concerns," the paper says. Further down the road, Warner said the plan is to extend the effort to all 55 of the state's counties during the 2018 general election in November if the pilot proves to be successful. The effort also coincides with a legislative move from the West Virginia House of Representatives that is seeking to form a special study group to research ways to adopt blockchain technology across different government services. West Virginia state flag via Shutterstock The lea Continue reading >>

Sierra Leone Just Ran The First Blockchain-based Election

Sierra Leone Just Ran The First Blockchain-based Election

Sierra Leone just ran the first blockchain-based election The citizens of Sierra Leone went to the polls on March 7 but this time something was different: the country recorded votes at 70% of the polling to the blockchain using a technology that is the first of its kind in actual practice. The tech, created by Leonardo Gammar of Agora , anonymously stored votes in an immutable ledger, thereby offering instant access to the election results. Anonymized votes/ballots are being recorded on Agoras blockchain, which will be publicly available for any interested party to review, count and validate, said Gammar. This is the first time a government election is using blockchain technology. Sierra Leone wishes to create an environment of trust with the voters in a contentious election, especially looking at how the election will be publicly viewed post-election. By using blockchain as a means to immutably record ballots and results, the country hopes to create legitimacy around the election and reduce fall-out from opposition parties, he said. Why is this interesting? While this is little more than a proof of concept it is not a complete voting record but instead captured a seemingly acceptable plurality of votes its fascinating to see the technology be implemented in Sierra Leone, a country of about 7.4 million people. The goal ultimately is to reduce voting costs by cutting out paper ballots as well as reducing corruption in the voting process. Gammar, for his part, sees the value of a decentralizes system. Were the only company in the world that has built a fully-functional blockchain voting platform. Other electronic voting machines are block boxes that have been increasingly shown to be vulnerable to security attacks. For that reason, many US states and foreign nations have Continue reading >>

Blockchain Startup Runs Voting Trial During Sierra Leone Election

Blockchain Startup Runs Voting Trial During Sierra Leone Election

Blockchain Startup Runs Voting Trial During Sierra Leone Election The West African nation's most populous district logged unofficial ballots using a permissioned blockchain run by Swiss voting tech company Agora. PCMag reviews products independently , but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Terms of use . Blockchain has vast potential beyond powering cryptocurrencies. Decentralized blockchain networks and immutable ledgers can serve as a foundation for new trusted systems, redefining how we interact with an evolving digital world. One of the most fascinating applications of blockchain technology is also one of its most controversial: voting. In the wake of high-profile hacks , there's been a bright spotlight on election software security and electronic voting machines (EVMs). Blockchain has been floated as a solution for several years, in theory providing a transparent and trusted medium for entering and recording votesfree of election-rigging and vote tampering allegationswhere all parties can trust and verify the results. Until now, we've been dealing largely in proof-of-concepts and pilots in countries like Denmark and Estonia when it comes to secure, tamper-proof blockchain-based voting. That all changed this month in Sierra Leone. The African nation is in the midst of landmark presidential elections to replace outgoing president Ernest Bai Koroma. In the most populous Western District of the country, a Swiss voting tech company called Agora has manually inputted upwards of 400,000 ballots on its permissioned, blockchain-based voting system. The election itself is tightly contested and has entered a second round as a result of a run-off , will occur on March 27 when foreign minister Samura Kamara faces off against opposition party lead Continue reading >>

Blockchain Technology In Online Voting

Blockchain Technology In Online Voting

Online Voting Technology Blockchain Technology in Online Voting The blockchain the engine onwhich Bitcoin is built is a newkind of distributed consensussystem that allows transactions, orother data, to be securely storedand verified without any centralizedauthority at all. With blockchain technology, youcould create a truly tamper-proofrecord system records can go intothe Blockchain in a way that I knowif anybody tries to change it. You should be taking this technology as seriously as you should have been taking the development of the Internet in the early 1990s. Both the financial services and Bitcoin communities perked up last week when Citi, Nasdaq, Visa and other large financial institutions invested in Chain.com, a Bitcoin blockchain services provider. Bitcoin is giving banks a run fortheir money. Now the sametechnology threatens to eradicatesocial networks, stock markets, evennational governments. A blockchain is an audit trail for a database which is managed by a network of computers where no single computer is responsible for storing or maintaining the database, and any computer may enter or leave this network at any time without jeopardizing the integrity or availability of the database. Any computer can rebuild the database from scratch by downloading the blockchain and processing the audit trail. Traditional databases are maintained by a single organization, and that organization has complete control of the database, including the ability to tamper with the stored data, to censor otherwise valid changes to the data, or to add data fraudulently. For most use cases, this is not a problem since the organization which maintains the database does so for its own benefit, and therefore has no motive to falsify the databases contents; however, there are other use ca Continue reading >>

How Blockchain Voting Works & Why We Need It

How Blockchain Voting Works & Why We Need It

How Blockchain Voting Works & Why We Need It Blockchain Voting Makes Democracy More Transparent Theres a reason why we have to go to a polling place to fill out ballots for our elections. Anonymous ballots are the easiest way to protect the integrity of the vote while also protecting voter privacy at the same time. Digital voting has been a difficult challenge because its tough to verify that each ballot is valid while also keeping them anonymous. Blockchain voting could change that with its cryptography. In fact, blockchain voting is already changing some elections. Right now, military from West Virginia, USA who are serving overseas can vote in their home elections using their mobile phones. A combination of encryption and blockchain registry tallies those votes. Other countries like Brazil, Denmark, South Korea, and Switzerland are exploring blockchain voting. By far, however, Estonia is leading the way. Their citizens have unique ID cards that allow them to vote on the blockchain quickly and securely. Digitizing the most essential part of democracy could have deep and lasting impacts on global governance. Citizens can make decisions much more quickly and public referendum is a feasible option. Representative democracy could get marginalized for direct democracy by the people. But thats not all. Another result is rigging elections could become more difficult, nearly impossible. This article explores how blockchain voting works, and its implications for the world. Blockchain voting is similar to analogue voting that were used to. The same concepts and processes apply. In order to cast a digital vote, a citizen would need to register and prove their citizenship in a given jurisdiction. We could then record that identity and citizenship on the blockchain associated wit Continue reading >>

One Place Where Blockchain Could Really Help: Voting

One Place Where Blockchain Could Really Help: Voting

One Place Where Blockchain Could Really Help: Voting {{article.article.images.featured.caption}} Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. This story appears in the {{article.article.magazine.pretty_date}} issue of {{article.article.magazine.pubName}}. {{article.article.magazine.subscription_text}} In most parts of America, technology plays no role in voting. If theres anything more hyped than Bitcoin right now, its blockchain the technology that enables cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Blockchain is being touted as the magic bullet that could end money laundering, let homeowners sell self-generated electricity back into the grid and even revolutionize economies in Africa. While all of those blockchain dreams may one day come true, the use that I find the most compelling is voting. As weve seen in election after election, our voting technology is not cutting it. Recently, a contest for a delegate seat in Virginia came down to a tie and had to be decided by drawing a name out of a hat . When elections are contested, officials hole up in a room and hand-count votes for hours setting aside the ones they cant decipher to argue over later. On a larger scale, our election process makes it difficult to vote. Many people struggle to take the time off on a Tuesday to make it to their polling place. Finding that polling place can sometimes be a challenge, and those who decide they want to mail in their ballot often just never get around to it. According to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center only 55.7% of the voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election. That ranks us 28th out of 35 highly developed countries in terms of voter turnout behind countries Continue reading >>

How The Blockchain Can Change How We Vote

How The Blockchain Can Change How We Vote

How the Blockchain Can Change How We Vote Blend Images - Hill Street Studios / Getty Images Images from Arizona in 2016 showed lines of people waiting up to 5 hours to vote in just a primary. Much of this had to do with the closing of voting locations in an effort to save money. Of course, others may contend that it also had much to do with just good old politics and that more people were coming out to vote for certain candidates. However, the reality of this shows that in a time of technological advancement that includes self-driving cars, isnt there a better way of voting than the way its being done today? There are many in the Bitcoin and Blockchain world who believe that these advancements can and will provide a new method of voting that is more secure, easier and will allow for more people to perform their basic civic duty. How Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology Can Help The consideration of Bitcoin as a way to change the way we vote was considered during the early days of the new technology. At a time when the virtual currency was about $30 (its now hovering around $400), in 2012, computer scientists in Canada were looking to exploit the capabilities of Bitcoin as a form of carbon dating for digital information and something that would make electronic voting more secure. Jeremy Clark and Aleksander Essexwere computer scientists from Ontario-based universities who saw the potential for Bitcoin and Blockchain technology to enhance the ability to secure and validate the voting process. Their method was called CommitCoin andIt provided a way to utilize Blockchain technology in order to secure a persons vote and not allow any election official or political individual to change a vote. Echoing the mantra of early supporters of Bitcoin, Clark said, CommitCoin allows you Continue reading >>

Blockchain For Voting And Elections

Blockchain For Voting And Elections

A look at this technology beyond Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. With a new round of political elections approaching this year, technology has become a focus of attention: its role in how citizens learn about candidates and vote, how secure our voting systems are and how technology can help secure them. Blockchain mostly known for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is certainly one of the most talked-about technologies right now. While blockchain technology is relatively new, its also a continuation of a very human story, Bettina Warburg explained in her 2016 TED talk, now the most watched TED talk about blockchain. As our societies grew more complex and our trade routes grew more distant, we built up more formal institutions, institutions like banks for currency, governments, corporations, she said mentioning Nobel prize economist Douglass North. These institutions helped us manage our trade as the uncertainty and the complexity grew, and our personal control was much lower. Eventually with the internet, we put these same institutions online. Warburg believes we are now entering a further and radical evolution of how we interact and trade, because for the first time, we can lower uncertainty not just with political and economic institutions, like our banks, our corporations, our governments, but we can do it with technology alone. Indeed, blockchain can be that technology that can help us lower our uncertainties about identity and what we mean about transparency in long distances and complex trades, like in election systems for instance. Blockchain could revolutionize voting and elections, Terry Brock writes in the Chicago BizJournals . We hear a lot of talk about blockchain being used in areas such as finance and currency as referenced with Bitcoin and other cryptocurr Continue reading >>

Why You Could Soon Be Voting In A Blockchain-powered Election

Why You Could Soon Be Voting In A Blockchain-powered Election

Why You Could Soon Be Voting In A Blockchain-Powered Election Representatives served as international observers in the countrys election, but some felt they exaggerated their role for their own benefit. [Photo: Eva Diallo Gehri, courtesy of Agora] Could blockchain technology be the key to ensuring the integrity of the democratic process? A recent blockchain project aiming to replace cumbersome voting technology around the world got its first test in this months presidential election in Sierra Leone. Though the experiment had a shaky debut, amid accusations that the role of the technology was exaggerated, its potential benefits are impressive and it seems clear that we can expect to see plenty of future elections using blockchain. Representatives from the Switzerland-based project, called Agora , served as outside observers at some polling sites for the election, which was conducted using the countrys traditional paper ballots. Along with other observer groups, Agora representatives were shown the cast ballots. They used their equipment to record the votes to Agoras proprietary blockchain, without voters needing to do any additional work, says Agora CEO Leonardo Gammar. Nothing changed for themthey just go to the polling station and they put their votes in the boxes, he says. They vote with their fingerprintsthey put their fingerprints next to the photos of their candidates. [Photo: Eva Diallo Gehri, courtesy of Agora] But the experiment made for an unintentionally rocky public debut, after headlines from international blockchain and tech publications appeared to exaggerate the role that Agoras software played in the election. Those initial stories and subsequent updates, coming at a time when tech startups and blockchain projects are facing increased skepticism around Continue reading >>

Us Pioneers Blockchain Election Voting With West Virginia Mobile Trial

Us Pioneers Blockchain Election Voting With West Virginia Mobile Trial

US Pioneers Blockchain Election Voting With West Virginia Mobile Trial West Virginia is trialling the US first-ever use of Blockchain in federal election voting. US voters can use Blockchain to cast mobile ballots for the first time this month after a new partnership trials the technology in the state of West Virginia. According to a press release March 28, registered military voters can use a newly-developed Blockchain platform for mobile voting in the Primary Elections from March 23 until polling day May 8. The platform is limited to voters in two counties and is a joint venture between the Office of the Secretary of State of West Virginia, technical provider Voatz, Tusk/Montgomery Philanthropies, New America and the Blockchain Trust Accelerator platform. This pilot project is the first of its kind in the United States. The mobile voting application uses blockchain technology to provide a secure voting process, the release confirms. ...To improve accessibility and enhance confidence in our electoral system, West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner authorized his Elections Division staff to pursue a mobile voting pilot for the 2018 Primary Election. The US has until now made less headway in secure Blockchain voting than countries such as Estonia , with the partnership conspicuously drawing comparisons to jurisdictions ahead of the game in securing ballot casting and other operations. Government institutions around the world, including Brazil, Estonia, Denmark, South Korea, and Switzerland are actively pursuing the integration of blockchain technology, they note. Eligible voters require only a compatible Apple or Android mobile device and approved, validated State or Federal ID to use the Blockchain service. Continue reading >>

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