Many are discovering that blockchain’s greatest strength is its ability to make processes more efficient and secure — especially where actions need to be easily verified and are a target for bad actors. Slowly blockchain is changing industries such as banking, healthcare, and real estate, however, the adoption of this technology by governments is slow moving despite its logical application to systems like the voting system where it could provide more transparency and be able to quickly validate or debunk claims of voter fraud or election tampering.
“The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything”.
– Joseph Stalin
ELECTION TAMPERING AND BLOCKCHAIN
There are two parts to the voting process and therefore two opportunities for voter fraud or tampering with an election: 1. the casting of a vote and 2. the recording of the vote.
Here is the bad news: There are many ideas out there on how validating voters eligibility and the casting of votes could be modernized, but the reality is that there will need to be some level of involvement by the election organizers to do that job. Because of the level of human involvement necessary for this process, we may not see a clear solution to this problem for some time.
The good news? The truly vulnerable part of any election is the recording and tallying of votes. Logically, an efficient individual would attempt to change the outcome of an election by changing a large number of records when they are being tallied instead of organizing a group of people to cast fraudulent votes.
THIS IS WHERE BLOCKCHAIN COULD MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, electronic ledger, and the transactions made using it are stored in a way that can’t be altered or tampered with. Blockchain could be used to record and tally votes in a way that could be easily verified and provide transparency on any attempts at voter fraud, election tampering or lack thereof.
Here’s how it works. Blockchain-based transactions are recorded in the order in which those actions were applied to the database. This data is distributed across all of the computers in the system in a similar way that a torrent file is distributed among seeders and all of the seeders have the full copies. Given that, blockchain’s natural structure makes it so that if one individual tried to tamper with a record, that tampered record would immediately be flagged, isolated, and then overwritten with the original correct information. This is self-healing mechanism is an innate part of blockchain and has a built-in audit trail that can be verified.
What’s wrong with the system we have? The problem with traditional databases is that these are maintained by a single organization, who has complete control of the database, including the ability to tamper with the stored data, to censor otherwise valid changes to the data, or to add data fraudulently. Even if it could be guaranteed that the responsible organization would never enact a fraudulent change to the database, there is still greater vulnerability to hackers aiming to break in and manipulate the database.
It may be some time before the full voting system is updated, but there has already been some real-world success.
Overall, there are many companies trying to capitalize on blockchain technology, but they are not all created equal. ShelterZoom is a prime example of an appropriate application of blockchain tech providing immediately more efficient processes for real estate deals where security is a concern.
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