May 22, in the democratic party “Apple” was launched in Moscow primaries, which identified a candidate for the nomination for the election of the mayor of Moscow. These primaries were the first in Russian political history, where the debate was the technology of the blockchain. The party held two rounds of debates between the 21 candidate for the nomination. The winners of each round were selected through online voting platform Polys.
Polys is a system of online voting on the basis of the blockchain technology, one of the projects of the business incubator “Kaspersky Lab”. The system allows for fair and transparent elections on any scale. The blockchain technology makes it impossible for any manipulation of the vote, as, for example, substitution or falsification of results. In case of any violations in the process, this information will be known by all participants vote. Especially for Coinspot representatives of the Laboratory said, how the system works, and how it passed the first tests in practice.
The application business logic Polys built on smart contracts for the Ethereum platform that allows you to create decentralized applications on the blockchain. This technology provides distributed processing of votes and prevents the possibility of cracking, as the information concerning the voting (including results), is not stored on an affected server, and on devices of all network participants. Thus, to crack the blockchain, you need to break all of the devices in the network.
Another important element in the protection of Polys — cryptographic algorithms required for encryption of the intermediate result of the vote. In addition, due to cryptoalgorithm achieved anonymity. When you create an encrypted vote is generated a pair of keys — private and public. The private key remains at the Organizer of the vote for decryption of results and public the public and allows you to encrypt voice.
Here’s how it works. The blockchain is a smart contract is an encrypted vote. Smart contract associated with the so-called encryption key necessary to encrypt and then decrypt the results. After starting the encrypted vote, the public key is published in a smart-contract by the Organizer and made available to authorized voters. During the voting, the system automatically loads the data and encrypts voice.
Party “the Apple” has long needed a system of online voting for the primaries, the elections to regional offices, meetings and other party needs. Since the organization and logistics of traditional paper ballots required a huge time and material costs, it was decided to switch to online voting, a technical solution Polys guaranteed the required level of reliability and security.
Thanks to blockchain voting on the debate in the “Apple” was absolutely transparent and honest. This example was one of the first in the world where the whole process, from creating voting and ending with the filing of the votes and the counting of results, was recorded in the blockchain via a smart contracts automatically. This practice, for example, is fundamentally different from presidential elections in Sierra Leone, when the voices recorded in the blockchain manually and the process was experimental in nature.
Engineers Polys launched a private blockchain in their own IT infrastructure, “Apple”. On this blockchain worked two apps — one for the Organizers of vote, the other for Voters. Any of the participants could download the blockchain to verify its correctness and the reliability of the results.
Stream debate was live via YouTube channel. Every morning the electors voting received the email with the invitation to vote. However, during the vote found an unexpected problem — not all users received the invitation letter in time. The problem was solved simply — began to duplicate invitations by SMS.
System Polys simplified and accelerated the process of elections, increased voter turnout and increased voter turnout. It has also reduced costs and demonstrated the potential of the blockchain for transparent and secure recording of votes.
In the primaries the party conducted two rounds of debate. The first round took place in five days, the voting lasted for 11 hours a day. It was attended by 21 candidates — discussed urban development, the economy and management of the city, the environment and transport. In the final round were four candidates.
For 6 days of debate held 58 votes in total was attended by 8 000 people. If such a vote took place in a traditional way, you would have to print and count the ballots of all 58 voting, but it would require much more time and material resources.
An important condition for the leadership of the “Apple” was the presence of head to voting for elderly voters and those of party members who, for whatever reason, are unable to vote online. In this case the command Polys provided offline terminals, which were located in the office of the party. In contrast to the online voter, the members voting in person received a printed “mandates” and voted on the terminals.
“Mandate” is a document containing a QR code, a link to the vote and an 8-digit numeric code which must be entered on the terminal to access the ballot. Even technically untrained people can easily cope with this task and the vote was very fast.
Voter reaction to the app was positive Polys. Many of them were in favor of the transition to the blockchain voting to reduce costs and increase transparency and security of elections.
“The application of new technology in the party of life allows us not to stand still, to develop and attract new supporters — said the head of the organizing Committee of the primaries, Chairman of Yabloko Nikolai Rybakov.
In conclusion, I want to add that the effectiveness of online voting on the blockchain now obvious to the party “Yabloko”. In the next elections to the Moscow city Duma in the party will be organized online voting system using Polys in the debate in all electoral districts.
Zoya Sergeeva, “Kaspersky Lab”, especially for Coinspot