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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Real Clear Voting: A Real Electronic Voting Solution

Do you want your vote to count?

Do you want your vote safe from the prying eyes -- and hands -- of corrupt election officials, political hacks and other miscreants?

If you're thinking that "electronic voting machines" were the solution, think again.

The blockchain voting apparatus is your solution for safe, secure and anonymous voting where every vote counts.

UPDATE October 2016: A patent application for this voting system, for which I am a co-inventor, has been approved for allowance by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the patent should be granted by the end of calendar year 2016.

You've been told that electronic voting machines were supposed to stop political corruption, election fraud and hanging chads.

Think again.

The typical electronic voting machine is merely an electronic version of the old, manual (and highly reliable) switch/lever voting booth.  The electronic machine offers one improvement on the manual booth: it produces a record of each vote. But that's it. And even that feature has some huge risks.

The reason? Both the electronic and manual machines are utterly dependent on people to maintain them...and most dangerously, to retrieve and report their vote tallies. The current machines and systems require that we trust people to get their jobs right, to do their jobs, to pay attention, to be honest.

It is that human involvement which is the serious drawback -- no, the fatal flaw -- in electronic voting.  And really, do you trust election officials to get all those factors right?

You've been told that electronic voting is the cure-all. That's because no one wants to point the blame where it belongs.

Dishonest election officials. 

Avoiding real accountability requires the creation of a straw scapegoat to blame. Here, it's the machine. 

But a blockchain-based apparatus removes the role of people. It moves the collection of votes to a decentralized system totally removed and independent from an individual machine. It removes people from any involvement in the counting of votes, because the tallying occurs on a public ledger called the blockchain. 

One feature of blockchain technology: Every component block carries a record of the preceding blocks in the chain. This forms a historical record. With voting, it means there is a constant record of the running count. This forms a strong protection: To change the count, to affect the tally, one would have to change not only the targeted block, but also every other block which followed the targeted block. This is nearly impossible as well as impractical.  

The reason is that the blockchain works on a consensus among participating computers that requires those computers to solve a complex mathematical algorithm. This provides an element of security totally new and totally absent from the so-called "secure" electronic machines you were promised would solve election fraud.

The reason why this security exists is the absence of people from the process. People cannot affect the process. The process is controlled entirely by the network participants, each acting independently (hence the "decentralized" nature) to reach the mathematical consensus.

It is this people-free process which offers the impartiality that is critical in any election.

Eric Dixon is a New York-based attorney and the co-inventor of a patent-pending, blockchain-based voting system. Send him a message to inquire further about the uses of blockchain. 

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