A new report by the United States National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine states that internet voting systems should not be used at the moment. The organization is also supporting the use of paper forms in all US elections by 2020.
A comprehensive 156-page report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) entitled " Ensuring the vote: Protecting American Democracy " states that internet based voting systems should not be used at this time until they can be verified as safe.
The authors of the report write that while the use of blockchain as an immutable urns "may seem promising", technology "does little to solve the fundamental security problems of the elections".
The report is the culmination of a two-year study. The research committee was composed of cybersecurity experts, electoral scholars and social scientists.
Overall, the report supports the use of readable ballots according to the presidential election of 2020. The goal of the effort is to "protect the integrity and the security of American elections ".
The authors of the report note the current lack of available technology that can guarantee the verifiability, secrecy and security of a "marked vote" transmitted
Blockchain introduces more security vulnerabilities for voting
NASEM lists a number of justifications against blockchain-based voting systems.
According to the report, blockchain "introduces additional security vulnerabilities" when it comes to elections since malware on a person's device could alter a vote before which achieves a blockchain.
Consequently, the immutability of the blockchain "fails to provide the desired integrity" and the voter may remain unaware that their vote has been altered.  The authors write how the "observability and immutability" propagandized by the supporters of the blockchain can be obtained in simpler ways. and how election officials could only publish digitally signed versions of the relevant election data instead of having to rely on a blockchain-based system.
The report says that it is possible to integrate the blockchain into an electoral system using systems like E2E-V and other voting methods. However, he underlines that "the merit of tackling these problems depends on additional mechanisms, not with the use of blockchains".
The NASEM formulates a series of recommendations to the authorities, in addition to the defense for paper forms. The organization says that electoral administrators should report any compromise of the voting system to the National Security Department, as well as the US Election Assistance Commission.
NASEM also lobbies Congress to provide funding so that state and local governments can continually update their cybersecurity capabilities.
The vote on Blockchain is becoming more popular
Despite the recommendations enunciated in the report, the vote with the help of blockchain is a trend that is slowly spreading all over the world. West Virginia was the first state to test a blockchain-based voting application, originally intended for military personnel outside the state.
The city of Zug, in Switzerland, tested a blockchain-based voting system in the summer, and the Japanese city of Tsukuba recently presented a new digital voting system to allow residents to vote on a variety of social contribution projects.
What do you think of this relationship? Does the vote based on the blockchain have good prospects for the future? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, NASEM, Shutterstock.