If you think that blockchain-based online voting is not possible, you had better think again. True, this is because authorities in South Korea have renewed their determination to evolve the system. To this end, local authorities are looking to experiment with the blockchain in December. This trial is to ascertain the feasibility of reliable and secure online voting using blockchain technology.
South Korea Announces the News
Breaking the news, Korea’s National Election Commission (NEC) announced on Wednesday that the commission will collaborate with the Ministry of Science and ICT for the pilot program. Voters have earlier expressed concerns that the NEC’s online voting system, popularly called K-voting, is vulnerable to voter fraud and hacking. According to local media reports, the system has already captured the bio-metrics of some 5.64 million eligible voters.
Why blockchain-based online voting?
The NEC of South Korea stated that they are migrating the process to the blockchain to enhance security and transparency. Making a case for the blockchain-powered online voting system, the NEC stated that records stored on the blockchain are tamper-proof. Consequently, such election outcomes will be more credible. To guarantee system transparency, the election umpire noted that election observers and candidates will have access to the collated results on the blockchain.
About the pilot scheme
Therefore, the electoral commission of South Korea pointed out that a need exists to carry out the pilot program. Explaining further, the NEC said that the program will serve as the foundation of subsequent online voting systems. Additionally, the commission said that it will integrate the new system with K-voting if the trial is successful.
Additionally, the NEC disclosed that two institutions will play a pivotal role throughout the experiment. These include the Seoul National University’s blockchain Society, and an agency of the Science Ministry, Korea Internet & Security Agency. The NEC says they will distribute online surveys as part of the pilot scheme.
Cutting-edge technologies in online voting
Indeed, blockchain technology has various use cases, and voting is one of them. Due to its transparency and immutability, many countries plan to deploy the innovative technology for enhancing online voting. Besides blockchain technology, techies in South Korea believe that other emerging technologies can play a critical role in the voting process. As a consequence, the NEC is considering the possibility of using IoT and Big Data in online voting in the future.
South Korea is not the only country leveraging the capabilities of blockchain technology for enhancing its elections. The US state of West Virginia had earlier unveiled a blockchain-powered mobile voting app. Rolled out in August, the mobile app enabled US military personnel outside the US to vote in the recently concluded midterm elections.
Similarly, in September, Japan’s Tsukuba city government experimented with the blockchain in the hopes of deploying it to improve its elections.
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