United Russia, the ruling party of Russia, has now introduced a blockchain-based e-voting platform for the citizens of the country for its primaries. The voting websites have been updated in Russia for the upcoming primaries and the process of counting votes would be done via blockchain tech, local reports indicate.
The head of IT projects for United Russia, Vyacheslav Sateyev, said that an adaptive version of this platform is also available for mobile-based users. Citizens would need to go through an authorization process (most likely a KYC-like process where identities will be verified) to vote on this new platform.
Blockchain-based voting systems have an added advantage over traditional voting systems. These platforms ensure that there is a transparency in the voting system and that there is no chance of any data tampering or election fraud. Furthermore, this reduces intermediaries in the process, making it smoother and quicker. Sateyev added:
"Candidates will be able to fill in their personal pages on this site, including posting news, videos, photos, distributing their pages. The personal account is now integrated with all social networks. We have also made an adaptive version of the site for mobile phones."
The primaries are basically a straw vote. These are unofficial polls which determine a candidate’s popularity among the voters, following which they are nominated by the party as the local representative for the general elections. Interestingly, this news also comes at a time when Russia is developing a state-backed cryptocurrency of their own which will be backed by oil.
Not The First Blockchain-Based Election
Interestingly, this is not the first time that voting is being done over a blockchain-based platform. This is not even the first time that this is happening in Russia either! Another such system was tried out in the Saratov Oblast region in southern Russia where 40,000 people voted over a blockchain-based platform for electing members of the Youth Parliament.
The first time that a major election was held over a blockchain-powered platform took place in early 2018 when Sierra Leone held its Presidential elections on such a platform. The US State of Colorado too is expected to try out something similar for the city of Denver - where a blockchain-based smartphone application may be used for municipal elections in May 2019.
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