July 24, 2018 09:24:03 A Melbourne-based start-up is seeking to use the same blockchain technology underpinning bitcoin to provide greater voting transparency in emerging democracies. In just under nine months Indonesia, the world’s third largest democracy, will hold its national election, giving more than 250 million residents the chance to vote for the next president and legislators.

Scandals and allegations of vote rigging over the last 20 years have plagued the fledgling democracy, which according to international election monitors has severely affected public trust in the election process. Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

“If you utilise blockchain to submit a vote in the same way that a bitcoin transaction can’t be reversed, it can’t be changed, it’s a trustworthy process based on a system, which is not owned by any one entity, not by an organisation, or a government or an individual,” said Horizon State’s Jamie Skella, who designed the platform. “These are all pretty great properties for a digital ballot box, so in the same way the vote can’t be maliciously tampered with, it can’t be removed and it can’t be changed.”

Horizon State is preparing to roll out a community voter platform in the island of Sumatra, providing a test case for the technology, which it is aiming to scale-up for regional and national government elections. Director of the Blockchain Innovation Hub at Melbourne’s RMIT University, Professor Jason Potts, believes applying the decentralised, distributed and public digital ledger to voting processes is a logical use case.

“For blockchain technology, the first use case was cryptocurrencies and money, but it’s basically a record keeping technology, whenever you want to create, establish truth, social consensus around facts,” Professor Potts said. “The possibility of recording anonymised votes to a blockchain, provides a way to provide trust in the electoral process itself, to provide very low cost ways of verifying that these votes took place. Read more from…

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