In news from Japan, the city of Tsukuba in the south of the country is using a tested blockchain voting system in order to let local residents of the city vote on local programs.
Tsukuba becomes one of Japan’s first cities to utilize blockchain technology in this way. The city is known to Japanese for its role in scientific research and development. Tsukuba Science City represents one of the world’s largest coordinated attempts to accelerate the rate of and improve the quality of scientific discovery, while not claiming to be Japan’s answer to Silicon Valley.
The voting system works by swiping an ID card on to the vote recording machine for verification which then stores the voter’s selected vote on a program of their choice. Once the data is stored, its encrypted via DLT. The system was tested on 8 August, recording 119 responses in relation to voting for different tech applications for a government website.
The city’s mayor, Tatsuo Igarashi, commented that he was surprised at the system’s simplicity. A local news agency reported that local government is measuring its successes before possibly extending its use to remote areas and possibly even overseas.
Only one reported problem emerged from the test, with some voters failing to remember their passwords, meaning counters were unsure if these votes had been entered into the system.
This Japanese test is certainly not the first to link blockchain with the ballot box. Blockchain voting was trialed for West Virginia’s Senate primary election on 8 May, and in a similar trial to Tsukuba’s, the Swiss crypto town of Zug trialed an e-voting system in June, allowing voting on minor social issues and the future of the ID system itself.
Zug’s trial blockchain-powered test vote enabled residents to vote on their annual fireworks display, digital ID library lending, digital entry ID, parking fees and electronic tax returns.
Australian startup Horizon State recently announced that it would be attempting to bring voting clarity to Indonesia with their blockchain system, restoring some faith to the electorate after years of allegations of vote rigging. The next general election in the country is to be held in at the end of this year.
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