Voting is a right that each individual should exercise to have a say — be it in the general election of a country, selection of the board or game everyone should play at a party.
Nothing is perfect and if we are talking about the coting system infrastructure, there is a lot of room for improvement. The voting system has been marred with issues such as counterfeits, lack of provenance, faulty hardware causing delays, corruption, etc.
What value addition does blockchain bring to voting?
Now, for a moment if we think — what are the things blockchain can add to the voting mechanics to improve the system. Security, immutability of the voting records, transparency of the entire voting process and results, provenance of each ballet cast in an election, seamless ID verification to avoid counterfeits. With so many advantages, it sure seems like a no brainer to use blockchain for a voting platform.
But, changing things is not easy. A few points that give a pause for the introduction of a new overhauled voting system — the ease of usage to all those who will cast their vote, the ID verification mechanism to be used, whether the system will actually deliver on scale as per requirement, consensus protocol are few things that have to be taken into account as well as tested before launching a new product.
Use cases our voting system can be used for
The voting architecture, as per the use case, can be simple or have multiple layers to it. The different modes of voting that have been used till now in different settings have been — paper ballot based voting system and digital voting via electronic devices. Both these scenarios have their own pros and cons. The voting was specifically challenging in Covid-19 times when social distancing is a mandatory to avoid being infected. It is practically inadvisable to vote in person to vote in general elections or in an election in a corporate. Thus, an “easy to use” online voting platform which is secure, provides transparency of the election process and provenance is the need of the hour. The main use cases such a platform addresses are as follows:
● Voting in general, municipal and other governmental elections
● Voting in selecting a board or passing a resolution at a school or a corporate
What lies ahead and what will we be working on?
Improved ID verification methods, customization as per requirement, introduction of the quadratic voting mechanism and making the code open source for users to easily use and improve the solution.
Moving ahead at BlueOrion
There have been multiple voting solutions that have been developed using blockchain such as Voatz and Votem which have been used in some of the states in the US to conduct military absentee voting. A pragmatic debate about using a blockchain based voting system has been spurred with both sides being argued vociferously.
We at BlueOrion have developed a voting platform on the Stellar blockchain, The same can be found here Voting Platform. We won an award for innovative app in Germany, received a grant from the Stellar Foundation in 2020 and are expected to be used in conducting municipal elections in Germany in 2021.
With our platform based on the Stellar blockchain we envision to make the process secure, immutable, fast and completely transparent. Our platform is open to use, so feel free to check it up. Agreed, blockchain based solutions are not perfect at this juncture, but the provenance and transparency required for a free and fair election can be achieved in the next iteration of applications to be developed in the future.
Moreover, we are happy to connect, collaborate to work on providing guidance and customization of the solution.