India’s Election Commission Trials Blockchain For Mobile Voting
Last week, the chief election commissioner of India announced that the Election Commission is operating with the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) on a blockchain voting system.
According to a report by local news outlet The Times of India, about a third of eligible voters did not practice their right to vote in the 2019 elections. Many of them were unable to vote as they moved away from where they are listed as voters. This is the issue of ‘Lost Votes’, and the EC (Election Commission) has been investigating several ways to tackle it.
India’s chief election commissioner Sunil Arora at a Times conference stated the blockchain system would enable voters enrolled in any part of the country to cast their votes, irrespective of their current address.
Arora noted that the EC has suggested linking voter IDs with Aadhaar, according to an INC42. Aadhar, the citizen identity database, if connected to voter IDs, should enable better verification of individuals and allow a remote secure voting mechanism.
Blockchain voting has been tested across the globe in a bid to boost voter turnout. Nonetheless, security experts have expressed concerns that mobile voting technology may potentially threaten democracy.
Current research by MIT engineers found various vulnerabilities in a blockchain voting system named Voatz, The Verge told in a report. They discovered that hackers could suppress, observe, and alter votes at will. An attack on the servers that manage the Voatz API might even be capable of changing the ballots as they arrive.
Nevertheless, Voatz replied by stating the app version tested was 27 versions old, was never related to their servers, and designated the research as flawed.
Medici Ventures, the investment arm of Overstock.com, stated the assistance of Voatz. Jonathan Johnson, CEO of Overstock and president of Medici Ventures, upheld the utilization of technology for voting.
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