It has not been easy managing elections here in Kenya. After each and every major election. Complaints and allegations follow for a while from every corner of the country. Allegations of voting fraud have been particularly prevalent under dictatorial regimes in Kenya. Across the country, centralized control of the voting process may be part of the problem and in fact, arguably may have caused more harm than good. After all this, I can’t stop wondering: Could blockchain offer a technical solution to the political dishonesty of vote-rigging and electoral fraud?
Blockchain is a technology that is rapidly gaining momentum in the modern world, with high security and transparency provisions, being widely used in supply chain management systems, healthcare, payments, and business/trading systems. It has great potential to decrease organizational costs and increase voter turnout. It eliminates the need to print ballot papers or open polling stations-voters can vote from wherever there is an Internet connection. it may be time to clean house and create a system in which all people have confidence. A system that allows for transparency and trust.
It’s not only financial transactions that work with blockchain, but any type of data transmission. This kind of system infrastructure is extremely useful for voting because a vote is a small piece of high-value data. Out of necessity, modern voting systems are largely stuck in the last century, and those that want to vote must leave their homes and submit paper ballots to a local authority. Why not bring this process online.
Blockchain, sometimes referred to as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), makes the history of any digital asset unalterable and transparent through the use of decentralization and cryptographic hashing.
A simple analogy for understanding blockchain technology is a Google Doc. When we create a document and share it with a group of people, the document is distributed instead of copied or transferred. This creates a decentralized distribution chain that gives everyone access to the document at the same time. No one is locked out awaiting changes from another party, while all modifications to the doc are being recorded in real-time, making changes completely transparent.
A blockchain is a database that stores encrypted blocks of data and then chains them together to form a chronological single-source of truth for the data. The whole point of using a blockchain is to let people in particular, “ people who don’t trust one another”, share valuable data in a secure, tamper-proof way.
.Blockchain can solve the many problems discovered in these early attempts at online voting. A blockchain-based voting application does not concern itself with the security of its Internet connection, because any hacker with access to the terminal will not be able to affect other nodes. Voters can effectively submit their vote without revealing their identity or political preferences to the public. Officials can count votes with absolute certainty, knowing that each ID can be attributed to one vote, no fakes can be created, and that tampering is impossible.