Catalonia is looking for ways to increase election participation by citizens abroad. A recent report in La Vanguardia indicates efforts at leveraging blockchain in e-voting by the government of Catalonia.
According to the report, the autonomous region experienced high turnout in a recent referendum to secede from Spain. In particular, the referendum aimed at petitioning Spain to grant Catalonia self-rule. However, Catalonians outside the border did not participate in good numbers.
The Spanish newspaper reports that the inability of external Catalonians to vote was a result of poor mechanisms. In this light, the government is considering setting up an e-voting system to cater to Catalonians on the outside
Leveraging blockchain in e-voting worth more than just an experiment
However, the biggest problem is that such systems lack integrity and hence inspire little trust. In particular, bad actors can easily access the system and interfere with the data stored on the system. As a result, even prospective voters might not vote due to that very reason.
The government therefore is turning to blockchain technology. However, the government is yet to decide on the modality of applying the technology.
Nonetheless, any e-voting system that utilises blockchain is quite safe. Already, there are various reports that call out the benefits of blockchain in curbing election fraud. According to Brookings, the use of blockchain to secure the election process is “worth more than just an experiment.”
Integrity and transparency
As per the think tank, the technology promises to revolutionize the process while adding transparency. Further, the technology could enable people to vote via their mobile phones. The safe and tested interface could eliminate voter fraud completely.
Further, it is interesting that people could be able to vote on the palm of their hands. What this means is that there could be a very high turnout during elections. In essence, the fundamental nature of blockchain will eliminate the need for central authority. As a result, the process will proceed very quickly.
Catalans leveraging blockchain in e-voting could be a great move. However, the ultimate decision will depend on what the Generalitat comes up with.