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Blockchain Voting

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 >>

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 >>

First Results Of Sierra Leone's Blockchain Vote Are In

First Results Of Sierra Leone's Blockchain Vote Are In

First Results of Sierra Leone's Blockchain Vote Are In Mar 10, 2018 at 11:30 UTC|UpdatedMar 11, 2018 at 23:37 UTC Blockchain startup Agora has published what appears to be the earliest results for the hotly contested Sierra Leone election, the first presidential vote tracked using the technology. After the voting concluded on Wednesday, as many as 400,000 ballots were manually inputted into Agora's blockchain system by a team of 280 accredited observers working in as many locations. Currently, the exact number of votes for each candidate aren't being revealed to the public, just the percentages. But Agora, a Switzerland-based foundation, said it plans to make the results auditable in a public format in the coming days. While this is a milestone for distributed ledger technology, the messy circumstances surrounding the election, not to mention the limited scope of Agora's work, show how far blockchain is from reaching its theoretical potential for voting. For one thing, Agora, which was accredited by Sierra Leone's National Election Committee (NEC), didn't count all the ballots, just those cast in the country's most populous district, where the capital city, Freetown, is located. The NEC's tally is the official one; Agora, like other accredited observers, is providing an independent count for comparison. "These are the final results from Agora to the Western area," said Agora's CEO, Leonardo Gammar. "The NEC is going to have its own results. Other observers are going to have their own results." Further, public blockchain purists may have trouble relying on Agora's count. Some of the technology developed by Agora that grants node operators access is currently patent-pending, Gammar said, so there won't be a fully open-source repository on Github for outsiders to inspect. 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 >>

West Virginia Becomes First State To Implement Blockchain Mobile Voting Solution

West Virginia Becomes First State To Implement Blockchain Mobile Voting Solution

West Virginia Becomes First state to Implement Blockchain Mobile Voting Solution Join our community of 10 000 traders on Hacked.com for just $39 per month. West Virginia is testing a secure military mobile voting solution for military service members who cant vote in person. It will become the first such state to test mobile voting by blockchain in a federal election . Secretary of State Mac Warner has declared the launch of a secure military mobile voting solution for the upcoming May 8th primary election. This is a pilot project and will at first be restricted to two counties, namely Harrison County and Monongalia County. With this move deployed and enlisted military voters will have the ability to vote using the new system beginning Friday, March 23, 2018, until the point when polls are closed on primary election day on May 8, 2018. All that they need to cast their vote is a regular Apple or Android smartphone and approved State or Federal ID. The objective of this venture is to offer a secure military mobile voting solution that is irrefutable, straightforward, and more secure and open than currently available mobile voting system. It will at first be constrained to military voters who are overseas to vote in Harrison and Monongalia counties. In any case, the state intends to extend the program to each of the 55 counties in the upcoming November general election if this pilot project proves fruitful. This pilot venture is the first of its kind in the United States.Warner said in a statementWest Virginia is taking the lead in providing safe, secure and accurate voting systems to encourage voter participation at every level. The move likely comes amid renewed voting scrutiny over the 2016presidentialelection with Warner sayingWere working hard to increase the level o Continue reading >>

West Virginia Becomes First State To Test Mobile Voting By Blockchain In A Federal Election

West Virginia Becomes First State To Test Mobile Voting By Blockchain In A Federal Election

West Virginia Becomes First State to Test Mobile Voting by Blockchain in a Federal Election The state is performing a pilot test for military service members who can't vote in person. West Virginia has become the first state to allow Internet voting by blockchain, offering the technology to deployed and overseas military service members and their families in two counties. The pilot test is in place for the states May 8 primary elections and is very limited in scope West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner said maybe a couple dozen voters will participate. But if it goes well, the state wants to try allowing all eligible military voters statewide to use it during the November general elections. Im really not concerned about numbers, Warner said. Were really just looking at the technology. Blockchain Voting Startup Raises $2.2M Online Voting: Will We or Won't We? Aging Voting Machines Cost Local, State Governments West Virginia is using Voatz , a Boston startup that recently raised $2.2 million in venture capital funding, for the pilot. Its by far the most high-profile use of the technology in the U.S. so far. There have been several elections in the country run on blockchain, but theyve been for much smaller events like town meetings, student government elections and state political party conventions. Should online voting ever reach the mainstream, many believe it would boost turnout and make elections more representative. Voatz technology works by recording votes on a blockchain, a cryptographic concept popularized with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. A voters identity is verified using biometric tools like a thumbprint scan, then they vote using a mobile device. Their vote is recorded on a chain containing all the votes cast, where each vote is mathematically pro Continue reading >>

Ballotchain Online Voting System Powered By Blockchain

Ballotchain Online Voting System Powered By Blockchain

Organising a vote requires a substantial organisational effort in order to fully ensure the correct performance and outcome of the process. These stringent security requirements often make it impractical to carry out voting initiatives on social media platforms. Ballotchain allows for an online process with the same guarantees of a public election. Voting is a fundamental element of any collaboration between individuals, with methods ranging from a show of hands and the use of a ballot box, to online voting and liquid democracy platforms. However, online voting and e-democracy platforms are subject to certain problems that undermine the definitive nature and certainty of the process: How can I be certain that the votes are counted correctly? Who ensures the system availability for the duration of the election? How can votes be verified, even after the voting is finished? In the context of public elections, these critical aspects are managed at a significant cost: just consider the various figures involved in the control and in the calculation of votes (counting managers, polling station managers, law enforcement personnel) and the characteristics of the equipment used (voting cards, stamps, special pencils). Ballotchain is a solution dedicated to making every online voting initiative as secure and verifiable as a public election. Imagine an online system where it is possible to vote using a computer, tablet, mobile phone or a multimedia totem without the need for voters to physically access the polling station, yet offering the same or better guarantees compared to a public election: Secure and anonymous votes, which can be verified at any moment Impossibility to vote twice or to commit electoral fraud Low operational cost, manual control is not required All guaranteed Continue reading >>

Can Blockchain Technology Solve Voting Issues?

Can Blockchain Technology Solve Voting Issues?

Can Blockchain Technology Solve Voting Issues? March 07, 2018, 10:55:48 AM EDT By Bitcoin Magazine With the U.S. electoral process enduring increased scrutiny and skepticism, some advocates argue that blockchain technology could bring an inefficient system into the twenty-first century and, more importantly, improve election security across the board. Consider, for instance, the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Nearly 100 million eligible voters didnt cast a ballot, marking a twenty-year low. Long lines plagued key battleground states. In Durham, North Carolina, electronic poll books used to check voter registration failed, and in Colorado, portions of the states voter verification system went down, forcing officials to issue provisional ballots to an undisclosed number of voters. If some of these cases are merely inconvenient, a significant portion represent real problems. Not only does an inefficient voting system discourage voting, but it also provokes public distrust. If the government doesnt effectively administer a vote, how can we be sure the results are legitimate? If a voting machine fails, how do we know our votes have been recorded and recorded properly? According to The Salt Lake Tribune , thousands of mail-in ballots were rejected in Utah. Some were postmarked late; some werent signed. Ten ballots were sent in from dead people. Of course, one of the most infamous cases of election day blundering is still the 2000 U.S. presidential election, during which officials in Florida discovered irregular ballots. The manual recount took over a month, and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court. And yet the problem has persisted until today. Forty-eight states asked the Department of Homeland Security to help fix security weaknesses in voting machines before the 2016 Continue reading >>

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 >>

Sierra Leone Becomes First Country With Blockchain-verified Election Voting

Sierra Leone Becomes First Country With Blockchain-verified Election Voting

Sierra Leone Becomes First Country With Blockchain-Verified Election Voting Jeff Francis March 11, 2018 7:00 pm Election history was recently made as Sierra Leone became the first country to use blockchain technology to verify voting results in their presidential election. The application of blockchain technology recorded another milestone recently. While the innovative technology has made tremendous strides in business, it is now putting its stamp upon the political sphere. The country of Sierra Leone has the distinction of being the first to feature blockchain-verified voting in the countrys presidential election. In last weeks presidential election in Sierra Leone, blockchain technology was used to verify voting results. However, the new tech was not used throughout the whole country. Rather, it was confined to the countrys most populous region. The voting process was overseen by Agora, a Swiss-based blockchain startup. Once the voting had taken place, up to 400,000 ballots were then manually entered into Agoras blockchain. The final result for the region (not country!) as tabulated by Agora : Samura Kamara (APC) was the winner with 54.7% of the votes, while Julius Bio (SLPP) came in second with 32.5%. Agora CEO Leonardo Gammar was pleased by how well the process worked and of future possibilities, saying: I strongly believe that this election is the beginning of a much larger blockchain voting movement. However, the presidential election in Sierra Leone is not the first time that blockchain technology has been used in the political realm. Moscow is using the technology as part of its Active Citizen voting system where residents can vote on city issues (but not political candidates). Brazil is also using the technology to allow citizens to easily sign and verify pop 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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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