Midterms are in the books and once again they dominated the surrounding news cycles. While swings, upsets, and zombie victories in Nevada ate up a large portion of the stories, an all too familiar topic once again reared its ugly head. The Wired headline read: “Voting Machine Meltdowns are Normal – And That’s A Problem.” The Cedar Rapids story went: “Mistaken Identity at Polls Causes Voter Woes.” Even President Trump and Attorney General Sessions chimed in to warn about voter fraud. It’s 2018 and robots are running parkour courses. Don’t we have some way of addressing voter fraud and poll problems? The short answer: yes.
Luckily, if anyone is really interested in fixing the problem, the solution already exists. Inventive minds are busy applying blockchain technology to a myriad of world issues. Cleaning up our voting process is critical to restoring integrity to our democratic method, and blockchain applications are the way to get it done.
Despite the internet’s pervasive influence in our daily lives, only 14 countries and a handful of U.S. states currently offer voting through online media. The hesitation comes in large part from fear of increased vulnerability. Recent revelations from a number of companies, including Facebook, revealed that foreign entities have and continue to interfere with our electoral process using the internet as a means of attack.
Online voting also presents new and complex difficulties in preventing voter fraud, verifying votes, and guaranteeing voter anonymity. Blockchain technology potentially offers a secure solution through its advanced and to-date uncrackable cryptography method. If entire currencies are based on the integrity of blockchain technology, isn’t it time to trust it with our votes?
There are currently dozens of startups focusing their energy on providing integrity to voting processes. While governments have been slow to adopt this technology, corporations and organizations around the world have already begun to successfully utilize these companies’ solutions in their own votes. Voting startups like Follow My Vote, Agora, Voatz, and others provide secure and transparent voting to their clients. Hopefully someday soon, the United States government uses these startups and their promising blockchain applications to clean up our voting process.