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Blockchain Could Bring Electronic Voting to Australia By 2017

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Online voting appears to be coming to Australia.

Australia plans to use blockchain technology to allow citizens to vote online.

Credit: XtockImages/iStockphoto

Australia intends to employ blockchain technology to let citizens vote online, with the government-owned postal service saying digital voting would provide convenience, faster tallying, efficiency, lower costs, and transparency.

"The emergence of cryptocurrencies on...blockchain have highlighted opportunities to repurpose that technology to capture various digital transactions in immutable, distributed, and secure ways," says the Australia Post's Tim Adamson.

The Australia Post's plan calls for a vote being an electronic transaction in which a number of voting "credits" can be "spent" by the voter. The consent to vote would be obtained via secure digital access keys sent securely to each voter. A ballot would be cryptographically represented within the blockchain, with each vote connected to the voter through their preference choice stored within the blockchain, keeping that information anonymous and publicly inaccessible. Once the election closes, the system would count the results from the database. The votes would be confirmed by candidates and voters without jeopardizing the secrecy of the ballot.

Australia Post Accelerator partner Rick Wingfield says blockchain's pseudonymous nature ensures the anonymity of votes, noting "you can't reverse-engineer who somebody voted for and it's immutable and provides a ledger of all transactions."

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