Allegations that Russia might have manipulated the last USA general election were rife after the release of the results. Such claims leveled against such a stable democracy is a reflection of the kind of hassle that other countries undergo to present credible election results. The solution to this problem could be the decentralization of the voting process so that manipulation of elections becomes a hectic task. The use of Blockchain for elections may offer a solution.
The problem with the current system of voting is the fact that the voters have to trust a central body to safeguard their interests. Often, such an intermediary is exposed to numerous attempts of hacking and bribery to favor certain candidates. The Blockchain technology has been successfully used to deny central bodies the power to control the interests of clients. A report by Osgood (2016) notes that in the finance industry, Blockchain has enabled individuals to make financial transactions directly to each other without involving banks or foreign currency changing agencies. The same can be applied in the voting process to ensure that once a person votes, the process cannot be reversed, repeated or manipulated.
The decentralized nature of the Blockchain technology ensures that every person has a copy of the transactions of a network in their hard drives. This situation implies that any information added to the election process would be reflected in all the computers in that network. Therefore, every voter will be in a position to monitor the way the numbers change during voting since they can trace the source of every vote. Thus, use of Blockchain for voting gives full power and control to the voters and not the electoral body.
Is Blockchain technology free from interference by election manipulators? The fact that individuals with political inclinations manufacture the codes used in the Blockchain may raise a red flag. However, a code representing an individual’s voting process would be unique for each voter. The situation implies that once a person votes, his or her side of the transaction will be reflected in the whole network. Therefore, any efforts to manipulate the election by voting twice will not be accepted in the Blockchain.
Hacking is a significant threat to elections. However, a 2015 study by a team from Plymouth University reveals that with Blockchain technology, hacking becomes a tedious and costly process that no one will attempt. The fact that the Voting Blockchain will be reflected in millions of voters’ computers means that hackers will have to shut all of them down to get a chance to infiltrate the system. Such a method offers little possibility of success. Therefore, Blockchain voting proves to be the way forward in making elections credible and encouraging higher voter turnout.
In Summary, the use of Blockchain for elections will get rid of the doubts and questions that linger in many voters’ minds every election year. This voting process is convenient, hassle-free, quick and secure. Since the system has worked effectively in the airlines, pharmaceutical and fashion and accessory industries, it can also work in elections. In the end, the people’s voice will be heard, and good leaders will occupy positions of governance.