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    You don’t need a blockchain for a verifiable voting process. Even though I’m a big fan of mathematically provable accuracy, much simpler changes in the US-voting process would already provide a huge overall improvement.

    I am content with the voting procedures in Germany, where you don’t have huge counting facilities but break it down into small stations where only 200-400 votes each are counted, and every citizen allowed to vote is assigned to one station only. The process (voting and counting) is completely public and you can witness it as long as you don’t interfere in the process. If you place your vote your name is checked off on the list, greatly reducing the risk of double-voting. Mail-in-voting is also possible, but then you are not allowed to cast a vote in person and you must have applied for the mail-in-ballot weeks before the election.

    Germany has 80 million inhabitants, but given these circumstances, you can easily validate an election with a relatively small number of poll watchers. I don’t know why the US is using counting machines, has no voter-ID and accumulates everything into huge counting facilities. If it’s not malfeasance, it’s incompetence at best.

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      I you haven’t watched this documentary about how US elections work, I truly and strongly recommend you to do so. Such system doesn’t need “simple changes”, it needs to stop being used at all. And it’s not about a partisan discussion between company A or B favouring party X or Y, it’s a huge global concern.

      The process (voting and counting) is completely public and you can witness it

      That’s exactly what a blockchain allows you to do, in real time and also globally. Any external observer can audit and monitor the whole process, and not just one polling station.

      Mail-in-voting is also possible

      By using blockchain tools you don’t need mail voting in the first place, basically because you can vote from wherever you want. The key difference is that you can verify inclusion of your vote for yourself. In mail voting, you simply hope that it will reach the polling station on time (if at all), that it won’t be opened, disclosed, tampered with, dismissed, etc.

      Blockchain will not be the solution for everything, but payments, notarization, contracts and governance are among the best use cases that you can find for it, as of today.

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        That’s exactly what a blockchain allows you to do, in real time and also globally.

        No it does not. It allows people with a certain depth of understanding of a complex technology to do that. Not the general public, which is what /u/FRIGN is talking about. As somebody who has counted votes in a German elections a few times I can tell you the system works and is understandable by anyone. Blockchains or even computers are def. not.

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          Exactly. I’ve thought along similar lines (we could have mathematically secure elections, asset transfers, etc.) except that the layperson barely understands computers, let alone crytographic keychains, private keys, the necessity to keep said private key safe and accessible, etc.. All of these solutions take for granted there’s ubiquitous+secure cryptographic identities for everyone, which alone is a logistical nightmare. My parents certainly couldn’t understand it, and would certainly lose their keypair or have it stolen.

          Paper is simple, universally understood, and difficult to make fraudulent at scale.

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            This highlights the problems with pushing electronic voting now. Even if you have a perfectly accurate system, it can only be trusted by a limited amount of specialized individuals, and not the majority of the populace. For e-voting to be viable, you have to grow a new society that can understand how such processes work. That will take a very long time, I’d say 100 years at least. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth exploring e-voting now (to the contrary, I think that research in this area is very important for future trust), but I think that trying to push for utilization now is useless and even harmful for it.

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              Right. Chase the magic out of the system.

              I’ve daydreamed about whether there are some wins to be had by grafting cryptographic processes in on top of paper ballots (themselves, but also the whole chain of custody) in a way that actually helps chase more magic out of the system… (but taking care to avoid some pitfalls around making coercion easier)

              Regardless of the crypto, though, at least one problem is designing a process that is resilient to the kinds of low-probability events that are likely to happen somewhere during larger elections.

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                Personally I don’t really understand this “everyone must understand the process” argument. There are plenty of elements in a modern life where we need to act based on faith in the system.

                I refuse to acknowledge that elections can’t be one of them, if an electoral process would be at least as convenient and safe as voting by mail.

                The biggest issue by far, in my opinion, in today’s politics is that the public at large is mostly uninterested in casting their ballot, and that anything we can do to increase the number of people participating should be done without thinking twice. When presidents are being elected with the vote of one third of the population, that is a serious problem. When laws get passed by people elected by a legislative group that reached barely 20% of the population, that’s really, really bad.

                An electronic system could even supplant a whole electoral college in my opinion. Having every citizen be able to cast their ballot in 5 minutes would lead to a truly democratic process, where no representative needs to be voted in office and squander public money.

                It’s baffling to me that in today’s age people are clinging to these antiquated methods, and instead of trying to find viable solutions, the large majority hides behind the “vast amount” of literature speaking against using blockchain technology for voting.

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                  Personally I don’t really understand this “everyone must understand the process” argument. There are plenty of elements in a modern life where we need to act based on faith in the system. I refuse to acknowledge that elections can’t be one of them, if an electoral process would be at least as convenient and safe as voting by mail.

                  You are entitled to that opinion, but it is a very weak argument. You are basically saying that we should replace a working and trusted system with one that nobody can really understand just because we can and because other systems are opaque too? That makes no sense, sorry.

                  The biggest issue by far, in my opinion, in today’s politics is that the public at large is mostly uninterested in casting their ballot, and that anything we can do to increase the number of people participating should be done without thinking twice. When presidents are being elected with the vote of one third of the population, that is a serious problem. When laws get passed by people elected by a legislative group that reached barely 20% of the population, that’s really, really bad.

                  Sure, blockchains are not going to do any of that. Not one bit of it. These problems are completely orthogonal to the discussion of using blockchains for political elections. Do you think even one person from the non-voting part of the general public is going to the election because they use a blockchain? I am sorry, but you are living in a bubble if you honestly believe that.

                  It’s baffling to me that in today’s age people are clinging to these antiquated methods, and instead of trying to find viable solutions, the large majority hides behind the “vast amount” of literature speaking against using blockchain technology for voting.

                  You have not come up with one example where the blockchains solves anything that you list in the paragraph above this. Just because something is old, does not mean it is bad. The new and shiny normally comes with new problems. Understandability is one of them in this case that you just glance over. Why you do that is unclear, but I guss you just want blockchain b/c it is cool.

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                    I’m not saying we should replace working system, like tomorrow. What I’m saying is that we should be working in finding alternatives that ensure a wider participation in the electoral process, and once they are proved to be fool proof then maybe yes we can replace the good old paper ballots.

                    Also I’m not saying that the blockchain is the way to do it, like I mentioned in a different message in the thread, I don’t have any knowledge in that area. What I’m saying is that people hide behind the excuse that blockchain is not viable instead of trying to find alternatives.

                    And the way you’re misinterpreting my words through your own bias is painful and offensive.