US postal service proposed a new blockchain-based mail-in voting system outlining the potential of the blockchain models as we are about to read in the following Blockchain news today.
The US postal service patent application detailed a blockchain-based voting system and the model will see the voters scan a mailed ballot with a smartphone and they can vote digitally. The different blockchain-enabled approaches are detailed in the application. Under the new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the government agency implemented drastic cost-cutting measures that are likely to slow mail service in the upcoming months. However, this November there are presidential elections taking place during a pandemic, which means that this main-in voting will be critical for many citizens to cast their votes.
President Trump railed against this idea saying that this method has a huge potential for fraud. One solution for a secure mail-in voting system can be the blockchain technology. The US Patent and Trademark Office published a new patent application that was initially filed on February 7 from the USPS that outlines the voting systems that could be supported and secured by blockchain technology. In one implementation, the voter will receive a paper ballot which will be printed with a computer-readable code. The voter will then scan the code with a mobile device and will verify the ID and then cast the ballot digitally. This system will separate the voter ID from the actual vote to be anonymous, the votes are stored on the blockchain.
The patent application says that there are possible options on how the technology can be used to supplement the physical element for the process. The USPS, therefore, sees a huge potential in the blockchain-backed mail-in voting system but it’s not yet ready to be brought to life. The blockchain-based voting systems gained a lot more attention since the pandemic and there’s a long way to go before systems are secure enough to be used on a wider scale. Beyond the technical hurdles, some in the space believe that this move will be a shock to the system. CEO Ray Chow-Toun said:
“Society is not ready for the big bang. People are not really ready to get this level of transparency, and this level of democracy, in government.”
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