Individuals living in the United States have a lot of reasons these days to show interest in a new voting system. The one currently employed at state and federal levels has become increasingly scrutinized ever since the election of Donald Trump and the news that the outcome of the most recent presidential election may have been altered or affected by outside influences, makes a new system all the more attractive.
It’s been thrown around for a few years now that blockchain technology could be the solution to upholding the integrity of any voting system, but up until now, not a single entity has been able to employ blockchain backed voting in the United States. West Virginia will be the first to do so next month as they allow military personnel stationed abroad to vote using their smartphones. The state of West Virginia has developed the blockchain based voting technology in partnership with Blockchain Trust Accelerator and, if it works, the system should prove to be a vast improvement over previous voting methods available to those stationed overseas. Before the launch of this blockchain backed voting system, military personnel stationed outside of the United States were forced to send their votes in via fax or post.
There are more than a few companies banking on the idea that state and federal governments, as well as large business organizations, around the world, will start looking toward the blockchain in order to simplify and secure their voting processes. Since the beginning of 2017, no fewer than eight different voting based crypto platforms have completed Initial Coin Offerings. Some of them include ElectionCoin, Boule, BoardRoom, and Vote Coin.
This initial test by West Virginia is a small one. Not only is it restricted to just currently deployed military personnel, but only those from two counties within the state will have access to the system. Regardless of the size of this endeavour, however, this is an enormously important test run. There’s a fairly large educational barrier that exists in the understanding of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies and this educational barrier is what drives a lot of the mistrust in the systems. The demonstrated success of blockchain voting systems, however, may eliminate the significance of that educational barrier. This gives everyone an opportunity to see the blockchain working without having to invest their own money in a cryptocurrency or hours of time into research. It might just be the perfect solution to bring public trust into the world of the blockchain.