A Japanese city government is the first in the country to have trailed a blockchain-based system that allows locals to cast votes for social development programs.
Tsukuba, a city, well known as a center for scientific research has completed the blockchain trial on August 28 and gathered around 119 votes, according to a report published by the Japan Times on Sunday.
The report goes on to discuss that the system integrates an identity authentication machine with a decentralized network. After placing an ID card for authentication, voters went on to choose their desired programs. The system further encrypted and stowed the information of their ballots through the tamper-proof distributed network.
The blockchain technology was used to select for the social contribution projects from a pool of suggestions dedicated to technology applications including the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet Of Things (IOT) based on the administration’s website.
Tsukuba’s mayor Tatsuo Igarashi, after casting a vote through the system stated: “I had thought it would involve more complicated procedures, but I found that it’s minimal and easy.”
According to a report from the Jiji news agency on Saturday, if the system proves to be successful after further analysis, the local administration believes in extending the service to people living in remote islands, foreign countries and mountain areas.
The trial is the latest example where governments have turned to blockchain technology for securing and casting ballots. However, some issues emerged like a lot of voters did not remember their password to cast a vote and it was challenging to tell whether a vote has been counted.
Tohoku University Professor Kazunori Kawamura, who is familiar with the subject of online voting, stated: “Due to fears of errors, administrative organisations and election boards are likely to find it difficult to introduce these systems.”
Kawamura further added, “It’s necessary to first enhance their reputation by using it for voting by expatriates.”
The U.S. state of West Virginia is also ready to embrace a blockchain-based system state-wide to aid absentee voters from the military based overseas to cast a vote remotely in the coming November elections.
Earlier this year, the municipal administration of Russia’s national capital Moscow released Digital Home, a service that lets citizens of high-rise blocks to remotely vote on problems like whether to advance aspects of buildings or appoint new management firms.