American Association for the Advancement of Science says blockchain is not safe for online voting.
The idea of online voting including using blockchain has been around for some time in countries around the world. As blockchain-based technology began to emerge, the vote seemed to be one of its best use cases.
Its decentralized nature means that no central authority could impact results, while its immutability means that changes would be challenging. In addition, the transparent audit of blockchains could, in theory, guarantee the level of control necessary to prevent the manipulation of votes.
This is not what the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) believes. In a letter to Governors, Secretaries of State and State Election Directors, AAAS establishes its conclusions on blockchain-based online voting.
“The manipulation of votes that may not be detected and numerous security vulnerabilities, including possible attacks that bring down the service, malware intrusions and mass privacy violations, remain possible in Internet voting.” – reads the letter.
The document does not stop there.
“If a blockchain architecture is used, serious questions arise about the content stored on it, how is the blockchain decrypted for public access and how are voters finally transferred to some kind of registry? No scientific or technical evidence suggests that any Internet voting system can or will address these concerns. ”
Is there merit to AAAS ‘claims?
Dipping deeper into the letter, one can find some merit in the AAAS argument. According to her, “Internet voting should not be used in the future until very robust security and verifiability guarantees are developed and implemented, since no known technology guarantees the secrecy, security and verifiability of a marked vote transmitted over the Internet. “
In fact, one can easily question the security protocols that would be implemented for such a system.
In addition, voting is a process established in existing regulations and is managed and governed by selected authorities. Putting voting on the blockchain will not be as easy and convenient as you might think, as it would require an entirely new regulatory framework. Finally, it is likely that the same authorities are in charge of this, leaving few changes to existing systems.