Trials of blockchain-backed voting in India will soon begin, allowing voters from outside their home province to post ballots.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said investigations using the very latest technology had already begun and mock trials would be launched in the very near future as reported from The Wire.
The Indian Election Commission worked with researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras to create a secure way to verify identities and enable voting from remote regions of the country and beyond. On the same day, Arora confirmed a proposal that would give Indians living abroad the opportunity to vote.
The blockchain aspect of the system would generate personalized electronic ballots that are generated by the blockchain once a voter’s identity has been verified. Subsequent votes are then encrypted, generating a blockchain hash, former senior vice-election commissioner Sandeep Saxena explained.
“After the identity of a voter is established by the system, a blockchain-enabled personalized electronic ballot will be generated. When the vote is cast, the ballot is securely encrypted and a blockchain hashtag is generated. This hashtag notification is sent to various stakeholders, in this case the candidates and political parties. “
Saxena explained that the system is not designed to allow people to vote from home. Instead, they should still meet at a designated polling station, just not the polling station in which they are registered.
Saxena emphasized the early stage the project was in and said voters who want to use this voting procedure should probably arrange it in advance.
On the other side of the world, the two most recent elections in the United States were marred by unfounded allegations of vote manipulation, either through Russian collusion or falsified vote counting. The rise of blockchain technology amid such furor has led some to suggest that the ability to secure cryptocurrencies could also applied to the election process.