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Report Recommends That Blockchain Should Not Be Used for Voting

A new report from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says internet voting systems should not be used currently. The organization is also advocating for the use of paper ballots in all U.S. elections by 2020.

A sweeping 156-page report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) entitled, “Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy,” says that internet-based voting systems should not be used at this time until they can be verified as secure.

The authors of the report write that while the use of blockchain as an immutable ballot box “may seem promising,” the technology “does little to solve the fundamental security issues of elections.”

The report is the culmination of a two-year study. The research committee was made up of cybersecurity experts, election scholars, and social scientists.

Overall, the report advocates for the use of human-readable paper ballots by the 2020 presidential election. The goal of the effort is to “protect the integrity and security of U.S. elections.”

The authors of the report note the current lack of technology available that can guarantee the verifiability, secrecy, and the security of a “marked ballot transmitted over the Internet.”

Blockchain Introduces More Security Vulnerabilities For Voting

The 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 it reaches a blockchain.

As a result, the blockchain’s immutability then “fails to provide the desired integrity,” and the voter might remain unaware their vote was altered.

The authors write how the “observability and immutability” touted by blockchain advocates can be achieved in simpler ways. These figures point out how election officials could just publish digitally-signed versions of relevant election data instead of having to rely on a blockchain-based system.

The report says it may be possible to integrate blockchain into an election system by taking advantage of systems like E2E-V and other voting methods. Still, it points out how “the credit for addressing such problems would lie with the additional mechanisms, not with the use of blockchains.”

The NASEM makes a number of recommendations to authorities, besides the advocacy for paper ballots. The organization says electoral administrators should be report any voting system compromises to the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

NASEM also lobbies Congress to provide funding so state and local governments can continuously upgrade their cybersecurity capabilities.

Blockchain Voting Is Becoming More Popular

Despite the recommendations spelled out in the report, voting with the help of blockchain is a trend that is slowly spreading across the world. West Virginia became the first state to test out a blockchain-based mobile application for voting, targeted at first towards out-of-state military personnel.

The town of Zug, Switzerland, tested out a blockchain-based voting system in the summer, and the Japanese city of Tsukuba recently unveiled a new digital voting system to let residents vote on a variety of social contribution project proposals.

What are your thoughts on this report? Does blockchain-based voting have good future prospects? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, NASEM, Shutterstock.

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Follow My Vote Launches Kickstarter For Blockchain Voting Project

Source: bitcoin

Follow My Vote Launches Kickstarter For Blockchain Voting Project

Blockchain voting service provider Follow My Vote (FMV) has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the development of open source blockchain voting software.

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Hosted on Kickstarter, this crowdfunding campaign is aimed at funding a blockchain voting project that hopes “to bring transparency, convenience, and security to all kinds of polls and electoral procedures.”

The proposed Follow My Vote platform hopes to “introduce more transparency into the elections without compromising voter privacy while ensuring the accuracy of the election results. To provide such a service, FMV plans to use blockchain technology and elliptic curve cryptography for its platform, which it says will be “secure and truly verifiable from end to end.”

FMV Co-founder and CEO Adam Kaleb Ernest commented on his dedication to this project:

“I have poured my life savings into Follow My Vote. When that wasn’t enough, I cashed out my 401K and maxed out my credit cards. We are so close to making history, I can feel it in my bones. I am confident that my fellow Millennials will find it in their hearts to fund this campaign so that we can get the job done.”

The FMV team believes that blockchain technology will greatly improve the state of voting, which FMV says “is filled with accusations of illegitimacy.” Kammi Foote, a representative from the Inyo County, California Registrar of voters, agrees with FMV’s vision, saying:

“The future of government is in open-source technologies and providing transparent election results will aid to restoring faith in vote counting. I support efforts, like those used by Follow My Vote, that explore how open-source software can lead to greater transparency, integrity and participation in voting.”

Those interested in funding the Follow My Vote’s initiative can do so at the following link to the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

Follow My Vote plans to demonstrate their game-changing technology by hosting an election in parallel to the United States 2016 Presidential Election.

About Follow My Vote

Follow My Vote is a secure and transparent online voting solution platform for the modern age. It was started by a team of innovators with the mission of using blockchain technology to revolutionize today’s obsolete and vulnerable voting systems. The company is currently operating from a shared space in Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center and it is a member of California Association of Voting Officials (CAVO), an organization supporting the use of open source technology to improve the electoral process and Open Source Initiative (OSI).

To learn more about Follow My Vote please visit:

Access the Follow My Vote Crowdfunding Campaign on Kickstarter:

Watch videos about Follow My Vote and its initiative at:

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Images courtesy of Follow My Vote.

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Follow My Vote Launches Kickstarter For Blockchain Voting Project