Blockchain, online voting, and the future of elections
United States, Boca Raton – December 4, 2018 - “With the 2020 election cycle in the horizon, it is crucial that we begin a fact-based discussion on how to leverage cryptography, blockchain and other technologies that can enhance the security of our elections. This wonderful event, gathering subject-matter experts to debate blockchain and its possible applications, is a great step in the right direction,” said Eduardo Correia at Blockland Solutions Conference held in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 1-4.
Correia, who has led Smartmatic’s Elections Business Unit for over a decade, was joined by Pete Martin, Founder & CEO of Votem, in a panel discussion entitled “How Mobile Voting Will Change the World”.
Voting preferences in the United States have experienced dramatic changes since the start of the century. According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the number of Americans who voted early or sent absentee or mail-in ballots increased from 25 million in 2004 to 57 million in 2016. Likewise, the number of early voters has tripled from 10.2 million in 2004 to approximately 35 million in 2018. These shifts highlight the growing need to modernize elections beyond polling place voting on Election Day.
“Trends in voting suggest that people are demanding more and better channels to participate in democracy. As pioneers in the modernization of election system, we are investing significant resources to make sure that we can deliver convenience while guaranteeing the integrity and security of the election process,” added Correia.
Smartmatic has worked with Cybernetica in an R&D lab in Estonia to advance online voting. The solution they built together incorporates blockchain as a mechanism to demonstrate the integrity of the digital votes in the electronic ballot box. Smartmatic and Cybernetica have successfully provided online voting in Norway, Estonia, and the United States.
The Smartmatic-Cybernetica Centre for Excellence for Internet Voting is focusing its research and development on solving the issues of voter privacy while harnessing many benefits of the blockchain. Earlier this year, the European Commission granted this joint venture, along with other companies, a new research award under its Horizon 2020 Programme to advance blockchain technology.