City in Japan To Trial Online Voting System Secured By Blockchain Technology
Japan’s FSA may have recently tightened oversight over new Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges, but blockchain continues to flourish with new blockchain-based projects launching at an increased rate.
The country is the latest in a growing list to pilot a blockchain-based voting system. The milestone will involve the Japanese city of Tsukuba, set to be the first to introduce a digital voting system that uses blockchain technology.
Blockchain innovation adoption on the rise
Blockchain innovation is said to be the next driver of global economic growth. While that happens in stages, the technology is already transforming lives around the world.
From applications in the health sector, finance, and transport, to governance and voting, the use of blockchain continues to grow and shape lives.
Developers and start-ups are always looking for the next aspect of life that can benefit from the positive attributes of this technology. It’s fast, transparent and immutable- just what the society needs.
Tsukuba’s Digital Voting System
The new online voting system is designed to utilize information provided on My Number card, a document similar to a social security card. The system utilizes a computer display and a card reader to identify and verify voter identities.
Voters use passwords to log in to the system and place their respective votes, much like it would happen in traditional voting. However, the simple, but cutting-edge technology used prevents any of the voting data from being tampered with or read.
According to the Japan Times, the city of Tsukuba has already used the voting system. Citizens have used it when voting on the selection of social contribution projects.
Tsukuba Mayor Tatsuo Igarashi trialed the new voting system and reportedly was surprised at how simple it was. He said that he thought the whole process would be complicated, only to find out that it was “minimal and easy”.
Although the general feeling about the system is positive, the program has some challenges that need addressing, Japan Times reports. These drawbacks have led to a number of calls regarding its wider use.
There are reports that a big number of voters could not remember their passwords, a scenario that would lock out a would-be voter. Officials also said that it was not possible for them to categorically state whether a particular vote had been counted.
The Tsukuba voting system may yet have a lot of modification done before it becomes earns the complete trust of those involved. Top on the agenda is if the system is truly fraud-proof, especially with regard to voter identification.
Like any other new system, the voting solution has a lot to offer. However, fears about running into errors or failure, among other challenges could dissuade administrators and election officials from introducing digital systems on a wider scale.
Adoption of blockchain-secured voting systems keep growing
Japan isn’t the only country seeing the introduction of blockchain-based voting solutions.
The state of West Virginia in the US will allow deployed military personnel to vote in November’s elections using a mobile blockchain-based voting app.
It is the first US state to introduce this technology aimed at improving access to voting military officers outside the country.
The data will be stored on a decentralized database, making the voting process more transparent. The app will store voter information on a public blockchain, but all personal details will be anonymous to safeguard voter privacy.