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Developer Readies Bitcoin-Based Voting Machine For 2016 Election

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:45 PM
Lester Coleman
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:45 PM

Blockchain Technologies Corp., a New York City-based company that has developed a bitcoin ATM, has developed what it calls a secure, open-source voting machine that use the block chain to record votes, replacing existing proprietary voting machines that are vulnerable to hacking, according to Motherboard.

Blockchain Technologies Logo

With a distributed ledger such as a block chain, everyone who sets up a node on the network gets a copy of it. Under this system, network of participants track all entries, continuously verifying recorded activity to maintain the ledger’s integrity.

How It Works

On election day, voters will fill out an election ballot that has three QR codes at the bottom, one representing a block chain address, one representing the ballot ID, and one for the election ID. Each vote unit transfers to the appropriate candidate as votes are scanned. There is a unique address for each candidate. Voters will be able to look up a candidate’s address to see the vote totals.

The voting machine is not connected to the Internet during voting as a security measure; this will prevent outsiders from manipulating votes as they are cast. The machine burns the ballots to a DVD before it connects to the Internet. The DVD will also be encased in a chassis where it will be impervious to electronic manipulation.

The machine prototype resembles a fax machine with a screen.

Blockchain Technologies has developed a block chain it calls VoteUnit that does not require transaction fees for every transfer as bitcoin requires.

Security Issues Still Exist

The block chain does not solve the problem of malicious software, according to Jeremy Epstein, a senior computer scientist at SRI International.

Blockchain Technologies will include a paper trail for voters to examine to ensure the voting machine database is correct and has not been manipulated. If the block chain data does not match the data on the DVD, on account of error or manipulation, the paper ballots can be used to do a recount.

Blockchain Technologies Corp. will open source its voting machine software, said Steve Borelli, a software developer for the company. This stands in contrast to proprietary software used by other voting machines that cannot be inspected by outsiders.

Also read: Cryptovoter brings decentralized voting to bitcoin

To Be Ready For 2016 Voting

The company expects to complete the machine before the 2016 election. Blockchain Technologies recently merged with GAHC, which has a subsidiary, Global Election Services, which holds more than 4,000 labor union elections annually.

Block chain based elections, according to advocates, are transparent and secure. The Liberal Alliance in Denmark and the European Pirate Party have tested these elections.

Image from Shutterstock.