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Blockchain-based Elections Would Be A Disaster For Democracy

Summary:

Without a paper receipt for a vote, voters would not have confidence in elections says Tim Lee. With blockchain voting, foreign governments could still hack into systems that distribute credentials to voters. Election officials could be bribed into suppling voters’ credentials. Voters’€™ devices that are used to cast their votes could be hacked. Phishing emails could be used to trick voters into revealing their credentials or simply trick them into thinking they’ve cast a vote when they haven’t.

Questions:

  • Are there more vulnerabilities with online voting than in-person voting?
  • Would you trust any ballot that does not provide a paper receipt?
  • Could a paper receipt method be combined with blockchain voting?

Article:

Esther Vargas / Flickr
Further Reading

Experts criticize West Virginia’s plan for smartphone voting

If you talk to experts on election security (I studied with several of them in graduate school) they’ll tell you that we’re nowhere close to being ready for online voting. “Mobile voting is a horrific idea,” said election security expert Joe Hall when I asked him about a West Virginia experiment with blockchain-based mobile voting back in August.

But on Tuesday, the New York Times published an opinion piece claiming the opposite.

“Building a workable, scalable, and inclusive online voting system is now possible, thanks to blockchain technologies,” writes Alex Tapscott, who the Times describes as co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute.

Tapscott is wrong—and dangerously so. Online voting would be a huge threat to the integrity of our elections—and to public faith in election outcomes.

Read More: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/11/blockchain-based-elections-would-be-a-disaster-for-democracy/

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