Is Blockchain Potential Enough to Rejig Voting Procedure
Traditional voting methods have witnessed a few changes over the time, they have traveled the from paper ballot boxes to electronic voting machines but these changes are just minor comparing them with the changes that technology has brought in other sectors. Digital voting practices are tested from long but they face their own perils of cyber attacks, machine errors, complex user interface, and network congestion that have restricted its application in the real world. The blockchain is one such technology that seems to be potent enough to revolutionize the voting scenarios by overcoming the perils of digital voting. Transparency, immutability, and self-authentication make the technology highly reliable for the purpose theoretically.
Blockchain technology can be beneficial to the voting process in the following ways.
• Security: The distributed ledgers of blockchain are secured with cryptography and data stored within them is encrypted making it least vulnerable to cyber attacks. Also, the distributed ledger will bring transparency in the voting process and increase the trust of voters.
• Immutability: Once a data is stored in blockchain ledger cannot be tampered and can only be viewed by the entities over the network. This will result in greater trust and also eliminate any chances vote manipulation or any other sort of error.
• Authentication: Blockchain technology is capable to self-validate its users and combining the authentication procedure with ID proofs and biometric would result in highly secure infrastructure for voting where voters would be identified on the basis of their biometrics and only after completing the authentication procedure they would be able to vote.
• Agility in Process: Still people have to stand in long queues to vote at the polling booths killing their valuable time. With digital and secure voting methods voters would be able to save hours of wait time and long vote counting time can be reduced to minimal with high computing speed of blockchain technology.
•Cost Savings: Election organizations around the world have to spend hugely to conduct the elections and at times they have to compromise with resources because of the same but with blockchain voting procedure the investment can be chopped down automatically.
With the capabilities blockchain puts forward it seems to be a great option to obsolete the traditional voting methods. Still, the idea is in pilot mode and has been tested at a small scale in Sierra Leone and the results are satisfactory but more research and developments are required for it to conduct nationwide elections.