Citizens of India will vote with blockchain, says election commissioner
Feb. 18, 2020
Citizens of India will soon be able to cast votes from outside their registration city thanks to a blockchain-based system.
According to The Times of India on February 13, Indian Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the country hoped to increase electoral participation with a blockchain-based voting solution.
The use of blockchain to avoid “lost votes”
Arora said that in the 2019 elections, 300 million eligible voters did not vote because they were not politically engaged or far from where they were registered in the constituency on election day.
The Times of India states that the country has more than 450 million migrants who move for work, education or marriage, but who can only do so temporarily, which leads most to not bother to re-register in a new district.
The commissioner said regulators are collaborating with the Indian Institute of Technology to develop a blockchain system that allows citizens to vote remotely.
Arora said he expects the blockchain voting system to be implemented during his term, which ends in April 2021, adding that there is a pending proposal with the law ministry to link voter IDs and the Aadhaar citizen identification system.
Apparently, the system is using blockchain to allow citizens to vote outside their registration city while preventing them from casting multiple votes.
Is blockchain the way forward to vote?
While paper votes seem outdated to some, many oppose the idea of digitized voting for fear of hackers.
As Cointelegraph recently reported, the security analysis of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Voatz, the first Internet voting application that was used in federal elections in the United States, resulted in criticism of cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
According to the researchers, it was possible to “alter, stop or expose a user’s vote, including a side channel attack in which a completely passive network adversary can potentially recover a user’s secret ballot.”
Still, many argue that blockchain is the way to go and can make the elections fraud proof. Former US presidential candidate Andrew Yang said in August last year that he planned to implement blockchain-based mobile voting if he won the election.
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