Less than a month before the Madrid Assembly elections and after the elections, which were held on February 14, to the Parliament of Catalonia, we are suffering, as we are, from an epidemic situation caused by COVID-19 that carries serious risks to health and involves restrictions on movement and the right of people to assemble, Especially in enclosed spaces, there are many who question why electronic voting has not yet been established to allow for the exercise of this basic right without having to do so in person in an electoral college or during the nineteenth-century voting by mail.
So, in a society where it is completely digital, why don’t the votes reflect this technological boom? For security? It is precisely digitization, and more specifically, Blockchain-based digital identity is the solution to achieving a transparent, reliable and efficient electoral process. All this despite the government’s reluctance to implement the regulations granted to it by Royal Decree Law 14/2019 of October 31, according to which Law 39/2015, of October 1, was amended from the procedure. .
The truth is that at the present time Election integrity depends on the computer systems they supportWithout the current technologies that make it possible to ensure, without a doubt, that there are no accidents or attacks that could jeopardize the electoral process. This is why I use Blockchain technology In implementing these voting systems. for him Complete traceability and stability It makes its use in these processes very attractive.
However, it is also necessary to point out that whatever technology is used to issue an electronic vote, it is imperative that it goes hand in hand with A valid voter ID Today, the only way to achieve this is to use an electronic certificate issued by a trusted e-service provider in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (European Union) No. 910/2014, dated July 23 (called the eIDAS Regulation) and the law. 6/2020, dated November 11, which regulates certain aspects of electronic trust services. The electronic certificate contains the information necessary to identify its owner and that he can sign electronically: name, NIF, algorithm keys and signature, expiration date and issuer.
Versus the current rating system. Blockchain
To be fair, it has to be said Our current electoral procedures are reliable and extremely fast, Because it allows us to know the final result in approximately two or three hours, albeit on a temporary basis as the final examination of the votes is carried out after a few days by the respective electoral councils.
however, Blockchain-based electronic voting cannot only solve difficulties of transparency and reliability, While ensuring that it is issued only once, and that the audit process is efficient, fast and error-free. Also, the blockchain It allows the process to be auditable in real time. The traceability left by the blockchain lets us know that each vote corresponds to a citizen and that there is no way to enter into fake votes.
In addition, the use of this technology will have Other benefits How Encouraging participationBy being able to vote from many devices, Eliminate absentee voting by mail It is included, Eliminate the cost of printing From the ballot.
Another point in favor is The ability to respect the secrecy of the vote, Because the information to be published will be pseudonyms. It is a transparent and open process, but it is not known who is the owner of this address or this hash. The identification and authentication of voters are protected by encryption techniques. So, No one except the citizen will know what he voted or from where.
All of these aspects have an effect on me The safety of this process is raised well above current standards. However, we must also mention the importance of carrying out prior training and awareness work so that the system (i.e. electronic system) is absorbed by the population.
What’s more, Blockchain facilitates digital identity. Currently, the information of every citizen is copied in many locations and in different public administrations old data coexist for the same individual, which causes many problems.
How do we vote with blockchain?
To achieve a blockchain-powered election, a series of steps must be followed. Milestones. First of all, the Implementation By the electoral authority A series of blocks according to the selection needs.
Second , Generate a token that reflects voting inside the blockchain. This token must have access to the voting system Associated with an electronic certificate Issued by a trusted service provider. Another different issue is that in order to avoid technological barriers or to improve ease of use by citizens, it can even be regulated in the future, even identity for electoral purposes only or voter identification by biometrics (face recognition, fingerprints, etc.). However, these identification systems should always, in principle, enjoy authorization and / or mediation from the General Administration of the State, in accordance with the provisions of the above-mentioned Royal Decree of Law 14/2019, dated October 31.
From the point of view citizen, The process will start with your registration on a platform created for this purpose and end with casting your vote at the appointed time. When a vote is cast, it is recorded and immutable. Blockchain technology will allow “polling” to be kept for electronic voting of potential claims.
Of course, The implementation mechanisms of a system like this should work gradually In order not to fall into failure and it is unlikely that this will be immediate or that the traditional system will completely disappear because there are always people who resist change and cannot be excluded from the right to vote
Almost a fact
exist Countries taking steps to make electronic voting via blockchain a reality. For example, in 2018 a city (Suez) Train The first vote took place on the basis of Blockchain technology. It was a local beta vote, so results were not binding. Also Japan Intend to use this technology for your choices. This system has already been tested in The city of Tsukuba, Known for being an important research center in the country. Likewise, from the National Center for Electronics and Information Technology (NECTEC) from Thailand It developed blockchain technology for electronic voting. On United StateWest Virginia authorities used this system so that soldiers who were on duty overseas could vote in the 2018 legislative elections through a mobile app. Finally, in RussiaIn the Moscow Municipal Duma elections held in September 2019, a pilot test of voting was conducted in three electoral districts.
About the author
Eduardo Galocha is a Professor in the Blockchain and Smartcontracts Unit of Lawyers in the Wenex LegalTech course from ADAMS.