Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has announced the launch of a new blockchain voting machine to enable transparency, secure voter’s votes, and curb election fraud.
According to the firm, implementing blockchain technology gives the prototype and edge over the traditional voting system.
Kaspersky Launches Blockchain Voting Machine
According to a report by Verdict on Thursday, February 27, 2020, Kaspersky has introduced its first-ever blockchain-powered voting machine using Polys, an online voting system developed by the company’s Innovation Hub.
Commenting on the advantages of electronic voting, Roman Aleshkin, head of product at Polys remarked:
“From speaking to our customers, we understand the issues and inconvenience they face when organizing paper-based voting. As we see from our Polys platform, e-voting can solve some of these issues, allowing more possibilities for remote participation and even increasing turnout of younger people.”
The report further explained how the prototype work, stating that voter will get a unique QR code or token. Furthermore, this code or token will be scanned, enabling voters to vote on any of the Polys DLT-backed machines. Thereafter, the votes are encrypted and counted, and the voters can verify that their votes are recorded on the blockchain.
Kaspersky says this voting process helps to eliminate multiple votes by one voter, reduce the number of electoral officers and long queues, and also minimize cost.
While this method of voting will record more participation from voters during elections, it, however, comes with some hiccups. As the process requires a smartphone/computers and an internet connection, voters without any of the above can be disenfranchised.
Alsehkin, noting this risk, commented:
“However, if physical polling stations were to be closed completely, it would deprive and alienate certain groups of people from taking part in an election and making their voice heard. That is why we introduced our new voting machines. Working together with the online platform, they allow citizens to vote using the method they prefer, in a convenient and transparent way.”
The cybersecurity firm also partook in a DLT voting campaign in Volgograd, Russia, which recorded participation from over 82,000 people.
DLT Utilization in Government Elections
Governments and associations are gradually exploring the use of blockchain technology to improve the electoral process. This is because the system is transparent, fast, and cheap compared to the traditional system of voting.
Back in 2018, the Thai Democrat Party employed Zcoin’s blockchain to conduct its primary election. Zcoin stated that despite the large turnout of voters, the final results were released under 12 hours. The Catalan government expressed willingness to use a DLT-powered voting system for elections.
Furthermore, Utah County collaborated with Tusk Philanthropies, an advocate of mobile voting, to trial the blockchain-based voting system for its municipal primary elections held in August 2019.
Former U.S. Presidential Candidate of the Democratic Party, Andrew Yang, is well-known crypto and blockchain proponent. Part of Yang’s propaganda focused on clear virtual currency regulations in the U.S. and the adoption of blockchain technology.
One of Yang’s campaign policies focused on implementing the DLT-based system of voting. According to the Democrat, standing in long queues at polling booths to vote was antiquated. Yang added that voting with blockchain will effectively reduce queues, minimize election fraud, and increase voter participation.
Recently, the Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups, Singapore (ACCESS) announced it was employing blockchain technology for voting, to enable transparency and anonymity.
As previously reported by Blockonomi, the botched Iowa caucus election, which used a mobile app to conduct its election, recorded errors and delays in the result. This led some blockchain proponents to push DLT as the solution to voting problems.