Determining whether blockchain technology can accurately count votes and ensure the integrity of an electronic voting system was the purpose of a competition among university teams held by Kaspersky Lab.
Kaspersky's Juan Guerrero says the blockchain's model has different peers in different systems vet each other's transactions. "If one of them gets hacked or one of them gets altered, all the others would be able to notice that change," he notes.
Three submissions out of 19 were winners of the Kaspersky contest, including a "permissioned blockchain" model in which a central authority admits voting machines to the network and produces a distributed ledger of votes. The other winning submissions included a model founded on global public keys that encrypt ballots and provide voter receipts, and a solution based on the Open Vote Network and DRE-i and DRE-ip encryptions.
To balance vote auditability and privacy, one solution would match voters with random identity numbers so those numbers could be exposed by an audit without compromising individual voters.
To address the threat of voting under duress, most teams chose to stay with traditional voting places instead of remote voting.
Guerrero says the results of the contest should help spark discussions among stakeholders--and U.S. voters--on finding proof-of-concept e-voting systems.
From Government Technology
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