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Blockchain Potentials in UAE’s Voting Systems

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Hamza Khan

The United Arab Emirates has a peculiar and functional voting system. The country rapidly adopted technologies like blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. These technologies have changed processes in different industries. With all the benefits of blockchain technology, incorporating it into UAE’s voting systems is something worth considering.

Voting System in the UAE

The last Federal National Council (FNC) elections in the UAE held in 2023. For this election, the UAE National Elections Commission (NEC) used remote and hybrid voting systems. This initiative aims to uphold the accuracy, transparency, and integrity of the electoral process, aligning with the country’s digital transformation efforts.

The introduction of these voting systems was formalized through Resolution No. 25 of 2023, issued by the NEC. This resolution outlines the executive instructions for the FNC 2023 elections and forms part of the preparations for the forthcoming voting procedures. The objective is to elect 20 members to the 40-seat legislative house. It had a requirement that 50% of FNC members be women. 

UAE’s hybrid voting system is made up of a remote voting system and an electronic voting system. The hybrid voting system is seen as the most up-to-date and effective.

Potentials of Blockchain Technology in UAE’s Voting Systems

Transparency and Security

Blockchain offers a transparent and tamper-proof record of votes. All votes would be recorded on the blockchain. Once a vote is recorded, it cannot be altered or deleted without detection.

Immutable Audit Trail

The decentralized nature of blockchain makes it possible for all votes to be recorded and time-stamped across multiple nodes. This creates an immutable audit trail. This transparency can increase trust in the electoral process by allowing stakeholders to verify the results independently.

Accessibility and Convenience

Blockchain-based voting systems can potentially improve voter accessibility and convenience. With online voting platforms built on blockchain technology, voters can securely cast their votes from anywhere with an internet connection. This can lead to higher voter turnout, especially among citizens living abroad or those unable to vote in person for various reasons.

Reduced Costs and Time

Adding blockchain to UAE’s voting systems can improve the electoral process, reducing administrative costs and time associated with traditional methods of voting. More importantly, it creates more efficient elections.

Voter Privacy

Blockchain-based voting systems can secure the privacy of individual votes while still maintaining transparency and integrity. Blockchain technology promotes the use of cryptographic techniques to anonymize voter identities. This safeguards voter privacy.

Resilience to Cyber Attacks

Blockchain’s decentralized nature makes its networks resilient to cyber-attacks. Adding this technology to the UAE’s electronic voting systems can mitigate the risks of hacking and unauthorized access to sensitive electoral data.

Smart Contracts 

Smart contracts can automate diferent aspects of the electoral process, such as candidate registration, verification of eligibility criteria, and distribution of voting results.

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