In Wednesday’s meeting between Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and Republican senators in the Pennsylvania legislature about potential voter fraud in the state, a state senator suggested blockchain as a potential cure for the kind of voter fraud that is alleged. . A company called VOATZ has the technology to do this and has been mentioned by name.
Blockchain is the secret sauce that keeps bitcoin running. Each new bitcoin transaction is encrypted as a new link in the chain, which is distributed to numerous sites. If someone tries to modify a link in the blockchain, everyone who stores the bitcoin blockchain knows this, so the fraud is detected and removed.
The beauty of blockchain is that trust is ensured between people who may not inherently trust each other. The fact that blockchain transactions are stored on numerous sites dictates honesty because the system can detect the change without directly disclosing the contents of a link.
Likewise, individual votes can be stored as links on, for example, a VOATZ blockchain. All political parties and poll officials can archive the entire voter blockchain and be immediately notified of any attempts to change votes. Any changes can be detected without revealing the identity of the voter. The blockchain makes auditing and recounting easier.
The encryption for every link in a blockchain is indestructible. Breaches in blockchains such as bitcoin are almost always due to human error. (Have you ever been the subject of phishing?)
That said, there will never be a voting system that is totally free from fraud. The goal is to make undetected fraud difficult and therefore rare possible.
Like me, you’ve probably thought about the ways the voter blockchain can be played. VOATZ addresses some of these questions on its website. While no voting system is totally fraud-proof, using blockchain in voting would eliminate many of the controversies we see today in the 2020 presidential election.
If you’ve watched television series like CSI or NCIS, you know that technology makes it harder to get away with crimes today than the crimes of the past. Controlled technology must be applied to achieve the same improvement in voter fraud detection.
Here’s a look at how blockchain works, using the troubled diamond industry as an illustration:
You might also like these articles, which provide a brief introduction to blockchain technology, using bitcoin as an illustration:
How bitcoin works. The social value of trust. Bitcoin is widely advertised as a “trustless” system. No player in the system must trust another player. All transactions are verifiable. (Jonathan Bartlett)
How do bitcoins work, anyway? And what is their future? A roundup for non-geeks.