Elections, But Without The Middleman by Ramy Zhang https://medium.com/@ramyjzh/elections-but-without-the-middleman-d7892ab673f0 -johnson110(john) 2018-10-15It's a very innovative thought! I'd also like to know more about how blockchain works on some very real issues. For example,
For people without any online profile, can they still vote?
How to make sure that one's vote is not known by others?
How to make sure that the person voting is the person himself, even if he loses his phone?
How to secure the whole system so no talented hackers can meddle the election? -sailor(Ocean & Mountain) 2018-10-15 Yes, so what I'm thinking is that in the scenario of an election we'd have every citizen create a digital identity that would be a public/private key pair on the blockchain. Then we'd associate that digital identity to your governmental identity, perhaps for example by hashing all the data in your government-approved identification and adding that as metadata onto your profile. This would allow the digital identities to be government-compliant but still decentralized. Having these digital identities would be as necessary as having a driver's license or a passport.
To make sure that your vote isn't known by others, there's a type of cryptographic protocol called zero-knowledge proofs that would allow you to have an exchange or transaction between you and the network or you and another node in the network, have each party's information be verified, but still not be able to know what the other's actual information is. This would allow the vote to be confidential!
To make sure that the person voting is themselves, as long as they have their private key to their digital identity (which is just a string of letters and numbers) they'll be able to vote. They won't need their phone or any device on their side.
Blockchains are by default Byzantine fault tolerant so the network itself is pretty much impossible to be attacked unless an individual hacker is able to gain control of 50% + 1 of all the nodes in the network - which is unfeasible. The only possible places were a hacker could meddle with the election is in loopholes within the voting smart contracts, or through third party software like wallets or exchanges. Hope this answers your questions satisfactorily! -johnson110(john) 2018-10-18Thank you!Thanks Ramy for the elaborated answer! According to what you explained, block chain is good in the process of ID verification. It should be able to handle different types of ID in an efficient way.
However, we probably cannot use block chain for online voting. Or, to be more accurate, online voting itself could not assure the fairness of election. The issue does not lie on the technology part, but on the human part.
Technically, with the use of block chain or some other things, we are able to make sure that the transmission of information is secured.
When it comes to the human part, there is one important voting standard that could not be met by online voting: a voter's voting process should not be witnessed by any second person, so that the second person knows how the voter votes.
Think about this scenario. John wants his classmates Mike and Tom to vote for politician Richman, and offers 20 bucks to each of them. If it's a traditional voting process as what we have now, Mike and Tom vote in private booths at the voting station. John is not able to verify whether they actually vote for Richman as they promised.
However, if the voting takes place online, John would be able to sit next to Mike and Tom in front of their home computers, witnesses they vote Richman on the screen, then pays them 20 bucks each. -sailor(Ocean & Mountain) 2018-10-31Thanks Ramy for the elaborated answer!