New NASEM Report Suggests Blockchain And Online Voting Systems Are No-Go

Report Recommends Against The Use Of Blockchain In Elections

The United States National Academies of Sciences (NASEM) released a report which asserted that virtual voting systems ought to be shelved. The firm is supporting the use of paper ballots in the entire US electoral system by 2020.

According to the report entailed in the 156 page document, NASEM insists that virtual systems of voting ought to be shelved until such a time that the system can be verified to be secure. Authors of the said report are of the view that making use of the blockchain as an irreversible ballot box may appear promising, however, the technology may not be in a position of addressing the essential issues of the electoral process.

The report is in essence a conclusion of a study that lasted two years. The committee behind the research comprised of election scholars, cybersecurity experts, as well as social scientists. Over and above, the report campaigns for the use of human-readable paper ballots in the next US elections.

The main objective of all this is to safeguard the veracity as well as the security of the US electoral process. The people who authored the report also decry the lack of technological expertise that can guarantee the verifiability, confidentiality and safety a ballot paper which is transmitted online.

Blockchain Introduces More Safety Weaknesses for Polling

There are a number of justifications that NASEM has against the use of blockchain in the electoral process. The report indicates that the use of blockchain introduces extra security vulnerabilities. This is due to the fact that malware on an eligible voter’s device could possibly change the vote prior to getting to the blockchain.

As a result, the immutability of blockchain is susceptible to failure especially when it comes to the provision of the desired integrity. As a matter of fact, a voter may not even be aware if the vote has been changed.

According to the authors, the ‘observability and immutability’ which is being peddled enthusiasts of blockchain can easily be achieved in rather easier ways. The said figures indicate how officials of the election agency are likely to publish the virtually-signed forms of the key election data, as a substitute to having to depend on a blockchain-based structure.

The authors of the report also believe that is possible to incorporate the innovative technology into an electoral structure by maximizing the use of systems such as E2E-V as well as other methods of polling.

The Rise in Popularity of Blockchain

In spite of the commendations indicated by the authors of the report, voting by making use of blockchain technology is a tendency which is gradually picking momentum all over the globe. One of the states to test the system was West Virginia, where military personnel used blockchain based mobile application for voting.

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