The position of democracy as the primary enabler of peace, justice, and societal equality cannot be overstated. The voting system guarantees that the majority’s will is done and has worked for many years. However, it is not without its shortcomings. These shortcomings resulted in the creation of the electronic voting system.
This article highlights the electronic voting system, its shortcomings, and how blockchain technology could significantly improve electronic voting.
What is Electronic Voting?
Electronic voting refers to a digitally-enabled ballot system. It supports vote casting via a technological medium like an app, a website, or a digital machine. This voting system is often adopted to complement the conventional or paper voting system. However, countries like Estonia have taken a step further to adopt a fully electronic voting system for all elections in the country. Other countries that have adopted a partial electronic voting system include India and Brazil.
Electronic voting has its benefits. These benefits are numerous. First, it increases voter turnout since many electorates can cast their preferred vote from the comfort of their homes. Also, electronic voting saves costs. Ordinarily, a traditional voting system requires enormous costs to cater to ballot boxes, voting papers, vetting agents, and country-wide securities. These logistical costs are rarely required for electronic voting.
Aside from this, electronic voting has a high efficiency rate. It enables voters to cast their vote while it collates the votes automatically. This automated system saves time and guarantees accuracy. With traditional voting, votes have to be counted manually and in the presence of electorates. Many times, this process could take days to be concluded. On the other hand, it is highly feasible to get election results within hours.
Why Electronic Voting in Blockchain is a good idea
One of the primary disadvantages of electronic voting is its lack of transparency. Voting is merely cast digitally, but electorates are rarely allowed to track results actively. Another disadvantage is that many voting systems are centralized. This means that operations are controlled by a single location where servers are concentrated. This centralization makes it easy for bad actors to hack and manipulate the system. However, with blockchain, these disadvantages can be easily solved.
How Blockchain Technology Helps Electronic Voting
Blockchain is undoubtedly a revolutionary technology. The infusion of blockchain technology in electronic voting systems is set to become even more disruptive. With this integration, votes will still be cast electronically. The only difference is that the voting system will be hosted on the blockchain.
This would eradicate the inherent problems with the current electronic voting system. This is because blockchain technology is not prone to hack attacks, given that the blockchain is decentralized. Also, information stored on the blockchain is publicly available and cannot be manipulated. This guarantees ultimate transparency. Some countries have jumped on the wave of blockchain-enabled electronic voting. One such country is Sierra Leone.
As digital systems evolve, they must be upgraded to reduce challenges. Integrating blockchain technology is one of the most viable ways toward that route.