A group of researchers from the organization “Initiative for cryptocurrency and contracts” (IC3) stated that, contrary to popular belief, the blockchain will not help to improve the voting system in the United States, where in this area there are different problems, and in principle. In fact, experts say, the blockchain can exacerbate existing flaws.
In an article published by Business Insider, Ari Juels, ittay Eyal, and Oded Naor pointed out four main reasons of incompatibility of the blockchain and the electoral system.
The first reason is the vulnerability of computers and the Internet. Computers can fail, they can destroy, they can access attackers to misrepresent the vote. The mere possibility of such a scenario undermines trust — the Foundation of any electoral system.
Scientists have even compared the system of Internet voting with alcohol use while driving, citing the cryptographer and Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of technology Ronald Rivest, which drew Parallels between these phenomena.
Disruption of the Internet could prevent people from voting. Time has not updated the system vulnerable to hackers. But, even with regular updates of the IC3 experts suggest not to risk, because an unknown vulnerability can compromise the whole system.
According to them, intruders constantly develop new attack methods, and computerized voting can give them the perfect opportunity to attack.
The third factor that makes researchers concern the fact that the voting system on the blockchain relies on technical devices, not people. Although the blockchain is able reliably to consider the voice, there is a danger that your device will change the voters before the data is written to the registry:
If your phone is infected with malware that changes the selection of the candidate And the candidate B, then no matter how secure all other aspects of the voting system.
Some of the creators of the latest online platforms for voting are not open to the public code. Thus, the independent objector is not able to conduct an audit and study the system until it starts to work.
Finally, the last caution of the experts IC3 for the possible purchase of votes. Now severe punishment and the system of secret ballot to prevent bribery of voters, but the will of the network can greatly facilitate the criminals task. Moreover, bribes can come in untraceable cryptocurrency. Will also be hampered prosecution of foreign intruders, distorting data, or involved in bribing voters. But the identity of voters, including fair, blockchain could reveal.
Meanwhile, voting on the Internet already works in some countries. So, in August in the U.S. state West Virginia was running a mobile system based on the blockchain. It allows you to vote to soldiers stationed at military bases outside the country.
The Secretary of state Mack, Warner argues that the application is robust and has successfully passed the testing, including auditing the code. Security measures include biometric technique of facial recognition.
Switzerland is also experimenting with a system of voting in the Internet and evaluates the results positively. In July of this year in Zug was held a test vote on the blockchain. The authorities considered the experiment a success, although the level of citizen participation was low.