Reading the news out of Thailand today brought up some old thoughts about having blockchain working within governments. I had recently detailed out a practical application for voting on blockchain in the USA. I know this is not a new concept, I think everyone who understands blockchain knows how and that it can be done.
So why isn’t it being done
What’s the problem preventing mass adoption? Trust and education, it will take the voting populous cultivating change from the smallest of local governments all the way to the state level to get things to change in the United States. To be honest its probably going to take another country like Canada or Thailand to lead the way because those in power in the States do not want the people to have this kind of control and transparency over their voice/their vote. Once more than half the “free world” has this technology we will reluctantly follow (maybe).
How would it work?
- Using existing in person voting validation methods, each electronic ballot given has a unique send key preprinted on it, when the ballot is entered into the scanner the blockchain must validate that the send key has not already been used, once confirmed by the network vote is recorded as written on the ballot.
- Cast votes are assigned to a unique vote (private) key and after it has been accepted as valid by the network and a print out of your private vote key is given to you with who was voted for. You can use this to validate that your vote did in fact get recorded as you intended on the blockchain.
- If send key is refused, a case for fraud is opened that someone else has illegally used that key, you can immediately identify what node it was entered in and when/where (thou due to privacy you wouldn’t know who did it). You would then have the ability to nullify/contest that vote due to the discrepancy.
- While existing voting techniques are still vulnerable in this model, using this technology would prevent digital manipulation and drastically lower in person fraud. You would think that an issue like dead people voting would be addressed by now even without technology but that’s for a different post.
I go to my polling center show my state issue ID and sign on the dotted line in the “book” I am given a voting ballot paper. I fill in the circles of the people that I want to vote for in each election spot. I feed that paper in the scantron like machine and receive a printed ”receipt” showing who I voted for and a unique private key that I can use for multiple purposes later on.
Using this would have some side effects that we would have to decide on if they were good or bad and needed to be changed.
Real time voting results.
As soon as the chain has verified the vote at the node and it updates for the county/district/state everyone can see who is ahead by exactly how many. When polls closed we would immediately know who won. We could shield the data sent to the collation address so that we won’t know results immediately and the news has something to make predictions for if we don’t want to completely embrace the technology.
Who owns the network/verification?
Only computers in the USA will be allowed to run a copy of the USA voter ledger (Proof of Stake) where all can contribute to validating votes. In doing so everyone can earn tokens which can be spent on community projects or just kept for personal gain (more on this below).
Take back your data!
Because you have a private key with how your voted you can then choose if you want to sell your voter data to marketers or analysis agents across political parties. You can even choose what level of your personal demographic you are willing to release in the sale. Your smart contract is good for one sale only and cannot be copied meaning that each subsequent request for your data will net you a new sale and a new term of the sale. Tokens will be created where you can auction your data off at a going rate or higher depending on the location / voting area that you reside in. You could even submit your data to a token pool that will bundle your data to be sold with hundreds or thousands of others at a higher cost for an equal share of the profits.
Tokens on the network can be exchanged to data, fiat, or other tokens via exchanges, maybe an option to donate your tokens to charity nets you a tax break.
I think that a process like this will not only make us all have a little more faith in the voting process but also encourage more people (youth) to vote because they are an active participant AND they can protect their data or choose to profit, two things you cannot do in the current system.