What is the premise of democracy? It’s voting, right?
A democratic society is one led by elected representatives, there are other definitions to consider, but for the purpose of this article, we want to explore the democratic value of voting and how the blockchain promises to make this a more secure activity in the future. The blockchain has the power to democratise democracy, as ironic as it sounds.
Blockchain voting isn’t a new concept, it’s been around for a while. The basis of blockchain voting is that blockchain technology is used to register, authorise and count votes, making the entire voting system far more efficient, meaning votes can’t be miscounted or lost, and, meaning chances of vote manipulation and other anti-democratic interventions are reduced. Bloomberg have recently published an article that discusses this concept. Part of their article, highlights how authorities in West Virginia, United States, are championing a blockchain based voting system. According to Bloomberg:
“West Virginia is testing the new method, which uses blockchain technology to store and secure digital votes, at a time of heightened concern about election meddling. U.S. intelligence officials warn that Russia could interfere in the congressional midterms on Nov. The West Virginia experiment could help determine whether blockchain, widely used in cryptocurrency, has a place in election security.”
See more for yourself, here.
Indeed, we have seen plenty examples of this. US armed forces used a blockchain vote system whilst based in Afghanistan as it was logistically easier to carry out than by posting out voting slips to troops there. The city of Zug, Switzerland’s own ‘Crypto Valley’ has also used a blockchain vote pilot with the aim to employ a blockchain voting system to allow locals to vote on matters of public affair, such as council decisions for example.
Overall, this is something that is becoming more and more common.
The blockchain can democratise democracy.
Voting doesn’t have to just exist within politics, voting can make all sorts of decisions more democratic and its likely that blockchain voting will become more common within other arenas before it is able to completely realign political polls and truly make democracy more democratic. The take home message though is that this is something that is being worked on and is being focused on. It won’t be long before we see local elections take up this sort of technology and thus, we expect that elections on a national level might one day become a far more realistic prospect. The blockchain will democratise democracy.