Japanese City Tests Blockchain Voting SystemSeptember 3, 2018
The government of Tsukuba, a Japanese city, has launched a voting system powered by the Blockchain technology. The system which is an online voting platform has been hailed as enabling voting for social development programs by the residents of the city.
Blockchain-Based Voting In Tsukuba
This Blockchain based voting system being the first of its kind in Japan, and it will be utilizing the ‘My Number’ system developed by Japan. The ‘My Number’ system is a set of 12 digit numerals allocated to all Japanese residents which act as the social security numbers. Through the ‘My Number’ system, the credentials of the voter will be easily confirmed and verified before the casted vote is secured. This is a step taken to prevent falsification of the casted vote or the changing through accessing the decentralized Blockchain technology going by the Japan Times report.
The Blockchain based voting system was specifically developed to enable the residents of Tsukuba to vote on the social development programs that have been proposed by the city’s government.
The residents, potential voters, were required to put their My Number card on the card reader before they could cast their votes. Upon the verification of the voters’ credentials, the voters could then cast their votes in favor of their preferred social development program. Going by the report, the cast votes would thereafter be recorded and secured on a decentralized ledger which would ensure that the cast votes could not be tampered with.
The mayor of Tsukuba, Tatsuo Igarashi, was reported as saying that though initially, he had thought the whole process would be long and tedious, he was surprised by how short and easy it turned out to be. This was after he had completed casting his vote.
Setbacks Experienced With The Voting System
Although the digital voting system was reported to have been largely successful, it was not completely free from setbacks. It has been reported that there were a few voters who were not able to cast their votes on account of forgetting their passwords. Apparently, the voting system utilized an extra layer of security that required the voter to insert a password to further verify themselves, in addition to the scanning of their social security cards.
Tsukuba city, which is renowned for being a center for scientific research in Japan and for its focusable pursuit of forward technology, is the latest to join the growing list of governments which have adopted voting systems tethered on the Blockchain technology and decentralized ledger technology.
Governments Adopting Blockchain In Voting Process
Earlier this year, West Virginia became the first state in the United States to launch a mobile voting platform that was to be used by the military servicemen and women to vote while overseas. This was made possible through the use of a smartphone app which would require the military members to use their state or federal IDs.
Other countries following suit are Switzerland, where two months ago residents of Zug took part in voting via a Blockchain based smartphone app. Ukraine has also announced a Blockchain based trial vote while Kenya has announced its plans of using Blockchain technology in ensuring vote integrity.