Blockchain The Vote

Originally developed to address double spending of Bitcoin crytocurrency, the Blockchain verification system is being looked upon by a number of nations to prevent fraud and fight government corruption. I believe the system works (please correct me if I’m wrong) by recording a transaction into an electronic “block” that is shared among multiple computers. Once created it can not be altered. To change any part of the record one creates a new transaction that generates a new block that is then “chained” to the original transaction.

The system makes any transaction transparent and traceable, letting anyone interested to track what happened to financial, governmental, medical or any other record. There is no way to alter the original entry or hide the fraud.

India is rapidly applying Blockchain to combat their $2 billion a year loan fraud problem. Here

Kenya is very excited about the potential government corruption fighting possibilities the technology holds for land transactions, one of the most lucrative forms of official corruption in that nation. They speculate that Blockchain may allow all of us to do away with banks and other financial institutions who act as intermediaries (for a fee). Here

Why don’t we blockchain our voting system if everyone is so concerned about the Russians interfering with our elections? A verified legal citizen casts a vote and the system locks it in, with no way to spoil the ballot.

11 Comments on Blockchain The Vote

  1. Easy now, says Dick Durbin, I’ve already established that the racist phrase “chain migration” triggers images of our slavery past so clearly “block chain” blows the same racist dog whistle.

  2. Dimocrats might actually approve this voting system, provided you remove the “verified”, “legal”, and “citizen” requirements and include the “formerly living”.


  3. I love tech and have been following Bitcoin from when it was below $100 per coin but confess I understand little about the technology behind it.

    My caution about entrusting voting registration to it is that it is so new and little understood.

    To everything, there is an equal and opposite side. What is blockchain’s dark side? How can it be infiltrated and used against its primary purpose? Who’s smart enough to detect it and thwart the evil-doers before damage is done?

    Just a few of my questions before I turn over my sovereignty to a computer program. No offense, HAL.

  4. Still doesn’t detect the original fraudulent vote. It only verifies the chain of custody of that vote.

  5. @Major MF That’s right, it would narrow the opportunity for fraud down to the registration. I would think the best solution would be to get as much information as possible on the individual who is registering, including finger prints and or DNA sample and build a block chained voter registration record that couldn’t be messed with once the registered voter is in the system.

    Then match what’s on record with who shows up at the polls to vote with that person’s identity.

    But a Blockchain system would reveal if anyone tried to tamper with the votes after they had been cast. The general public could be assure that their vote, as cast was not tampered with by anybody foreign or domestic.

  6. Here are a couple of more ways Blockchain is already being used for voting. The first is a system designed to let share holders to vote on matters brought to their annual meeting.

    The second is a political party in Denmark to handle internal elections

    Not only does Blockchain have the potential for use in voting, but it’s already being used for the purpose.

  7. The original ‘version’ of Blockchain had inherent an flaw. The current ‘version’ fixed that.
    It’s only a matter of time before some nefarious entity or gov’t figures out how to corrupt the chain, but it has the promise to provide verifiable transactions that could be fraudulent if done manually.

  8. > Once created it can not be altered.

    Not quite. The further back in the “chain”, the more difficult it is to alter. A “block” is a change “agreed” on (ominous foreshadowing), that includes a numeric signature of the proposed new information, and the previously “agreed” on “block” (or “blocks” — different standards can be used for different “chains”). To “fake” the current “block”, for giggles, you “just” have to come up with “replacement” information that creates the same signature as the original information. (That’s supposed to be really, really hard.) To “forge” it, you have to come up with information that, when tacked onto the information you want to appear legitimate, will combine to create the same, original signature. (That’s supposed to be even harder.) To “alter” an older (multiply confirmed) block, you have to come up with replacement information that will generate the same signature for that block, and all the blocks after it that reread it’s information for their own signatures. (That’s supposed to be impossible. See above about foreshadowing.)

    > an electronic “block” that is shared among multiple computers

    Now, here we get to the simple stuff. The current “block” is not shared. It is voted on. With “proof-of-work” systems, the computers that generate a valid signature, any valid signature, “beam” their proposed solution to the other computers trying to do the same thing. When a majority “agree” that that signature was the first, and works, they all start working on the next “block”. As many a pol has said “All that matters is who counts the votes”. If “enemy” computers are not allowed to participate (for example, by controlling the communication links between them), then only “approved” “block” signatures can, ever, be entered. Or, if “approved” computers are massively overpowered, compared to “enemy” systems, then “approved” “block” signatures will always be generated first, no communication interference required. Of course, if you’re spending other people’s money, why not do both?

    The difficulty of “forging” a signature is, always, a field of exploration.

    If the forgers have the biggest, fastest computers (paid for with other people’s money), if the forgers control communication between the voting computers, how long will you trust that the current “block” is genuine? If the “current” block can be faked, what trust do you place in the following “blocks” that confirm it? How long will you believe that it really is “impossible” to rewrite multiply confirmed information in such a way that it mathematically fits right in? If the forgers have the biggest, fastest computers (paid for with other people’s money), if the forgers have the firepower to abduct, and or kill, anyone who comes up with a “novel” shortcut to creating padding around information they’d like to “fake” into an old block, so it still signs the same as the original? How about, “This is the new, genuine chain. Because we say so.”? That’s been done already.

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