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A Case for BlockChain Voting and Ballot Integrity

The Benefits and Dangers of BlockChain Voting:

In starting the research for this article, I did a simple search ‘blockchain voting’ on Bing. I won’t use Google except at gunpoint, but I am sure that somehow the “G” word has inveigled its way into my castle once again. I got five results in a row that were skewed towards ‘this is bad, badder and very much more bad, and it will give you cavities’ meaning they didn’t approve of blockchain voting. This gave me the impression, as I am sure it would for you, that Big Tech does not want us to have blockchain voting.

This resistance from the Big Tech tyrants is the first point in favor of BCV (BlockChain Voting). In case you don’t want to keep track at home I will have a tally at the end.

My second move was searching ‘blockchain solutions for voting’ Since I am not setting up a voting system or a money-laundering operation, I just looked at the most polished-looking site that offered multiple platforms. The e-mail inquiry page said we are here waiting to help. This was early Saturday morning, now it is early afternoon, and no reply. I am going to make a wild guess that if I do get a follow up it won’t be until Monday when I can try and find out what else about their website is just for show.

Further searching uncovered many articles describing different plausible methods for using a secure blockchain for casting ballots on a nationalized basis but I haven’t found any that advocate a path that keeps the process closer to the voter. And the articles that disapprove of blockchain voting all cite malfeasance in the national voting process. So instead of a nationwide system, why not keep the same system of registering and voting in your locality? In other words, why not just use federalism?

While still clunky and somewhat arcane I would like to put forth a framework that preserves a single, secure, secret ballot that requires effort on the part of the voter. If you aren’t willing to expend a little effort to participate in your democracy it makes it worth less and encourages ballot buying.

1. You have to register in your precinct at least 3 months before an election with proper ID and request a ballot

2. A verification paper ballot returned by mail.

3. Vote in person at a registered secure polling place (qualifying Gov’t facility i.e. Post Office, courthouse)

4. Exchange paper ballot for a unique blockchain-enabled token (bits on a flash drive possibly)

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Again, if you are not willing to put forth the effort, you are not qualified to vote.

Here are some links that go into greater depth but I would emphasize that anything done on a purely national scale takes away from republicanism and risks being nothing more than a popular vote, a system that eliminates small-town America and less populous states from the process, putting the election entirely in the hands of big states like California and New York.

This is a snippet  from an article on Accubits

“With so many issues surrounding the traditional mode of voting, it is safe to say that we need a safer option that could promote the transparency of the process.

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Can We Rely on BlockChain Voting Technology?

Simply put, Blockchain is a digital ledger. This technology is highly secure while affording an unparalleled level of transparency among authorized users.

That is because all transactions are recorded on a “chain” maintained across millions of nodes on a network. It is cryptographically secure; you cannot edit or remove a single detail without the other parties verifying it. This makes it essentially immutable. Let’s see how we can integrate these features into a blockchain voting system. If you’d like to learn more about the technology, check out this article explaining “what is blockchain technology?” 

The entire article goes into much detail about millions of ‘nodes’ that record the signature, date and time stamp and the vote. Any other relevant details could be added as needed, I think of it as a spreadsheet that one person has access to that is able to be locked into a block that is added to a chain of other ‘spreadsheet’ blocks and stored securely in this ‘blockchain’ , not able to be tampered with because there are multiple copies on the ‘nodes’.

That is simplistic, but reading through even their ‘simple’ explanation was difficult to Grok (hat tip to Robert A. Heinlein) so I distilled it into something not so technology-heavy.

Bottom line is that it seems doable, but I cannot stress enough that if it is allowed to be adopted as a nationwide ‘secure’ referendum we will have lost the sense of America, which is republicanism, and we may as well get used to hard core Communism because there will be nothing to stop it then.

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Next is the interface. The interface has nothing to do with the technology the same way the dashboard of your car has nothing to do with the combustion engine. It is just an I/O or input/output readout to tell you what operations you can perform or the effect of the thing you just did.

I have gotten lazy here, because there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of dashboards vying for the opportunity to grab your imagination and wisk your free will from your fingertips to the tabulating hardware.

How might they do that? Via electrons switching things on and off, counting your vote and adding it to a secure digital spreadsheet, checked and double-checked for accuracy and security and then adding that to the spreadsheet in your voting booth, and that to the spreadsheet in your precinct and that to your city or county and so on until your State gets all the spreadsheets and at the magic moment the electors can unlock the spreadsheets, which, through the magic that is computing spit out secret, tabulated, collated, alphabetized, secure results.

And here is a company with a slick and sexy interface looking to be your portal to secure voting:

As I promised, the final score is, drumroll please, secure, digital blockchain voting using all of the safeguards originally built into the Constitution through elections will work much better than paper ballots, which as we have seen, can be manipulated by changing the rules, withholding and disallowing information, using insecure ballots allowing anyone who happens along, able to follow directions and sign their name (or not) picked up by operatives that can elect those who make the laws that govern every American.

1.       Paper ballots mailed to millions, picked up by un vetted operatives, counted by untrustworthy people and machines in dark insecure rooms and results not disclosed for days: 0

2.       Digital, secure, immediately counted, inscrutable BCV (BlockChain Vote) : 100

By: David Gignac

Reference material:

A note from my country-ass hound dog whom I trust more than politicians and overeducated twits, who want to tell me what to do:

The problem I see with most articles on BCV (blockchain voting) is they take the position that it should be a nationwide vote-a-thon.  Negatory good buddy,  that is specifically what the Founders of the American system of government were avoiding. That would be democratic scam-votery, large population centers would outvote any other segment of the State which would give the left, permanent rule. America was envisioned as a Republic so the whole of the population would be represented.>

From: Spike the Dog.