We shouldn’t even have to talk about blockchain public voting, because blockchains were specifically designed to bypass authorities (“trusted third parties are security holes“), whereas public elections are specifically managed and controlled by public authorities. “Blockchain public voting” is an oxymoron, at least given our current forms of government.
It’s a common error to think that “blockchain” is a general purpose technology when in fact it is a narrow technology designed to solve a very specific problem. Blockchains were specifically designed to prevent the double spending of digital cash without using central third parties. Public voting is a very different problem, it requires a different solution. Software development must start with the business requirements, and only then continue with the design of the technical solution. Putting the solution first (“solutionism”) almost never works.
The fact that most people don’t understand blockchain well and have limited IT literacy leads to the following misunderstandings:
- People call “blockchain” any software using cryptography (as if such software didn’t exist before 2009)
- People think that “blockchains” have some kind of inherent security properties (as if software security didn’t exist before 2009)
It’s a short step from there to think that blockchains could “secure” electronic voting. This thought is a logical fallacy.
Here are more articles debunking blockchain voting:
- Going from Bad to Worse: From Internet Voting to Blockchain Voting by MIT
- MIT researchers identify security vulnerabilities in Voatz Blockchain voting app
- Moscow Blockchain Voting System Hacked in 20 Minutes by a French researcher
- Blockchain voting is vulnerable to hackers, software glitches and bad ID photos – among other problems by Nir Kshetri
- Blockchain Voting: Solves None Of The Actual Problems Of Online Voting; Leverages None Of The Benefits Of Blockchain by Mike Masnick
- Why blockchains don’t solve the voting problem, twitter thread by Matthew Green
- Why is blockchain voting a dumb idea summarized in a tweet by Matt Blaze
- Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy (free PDF avail.)
Extract: “While the notion of using a blockchain as an immutable ballot box may seem promising, blockchain technology does little to solve the fundamental security issues of elections, and indeed, blockchains introduce additional security vulnerabilities”
On e-voting in general