The city of Denver, Colorado, announced today that it will be implementing a blockchain-based pilot program that allows overseas voters as well as active-duty military personnel and their eligible dependents to vote in the city’s upcoming municipal elections in May.
Blockchain for elections
The program uses a blockchain-based smartphone app and will be conducted in collaboration with the City and County of Denver, mobile voting startup Voatz, Tusk Philanthropies, and the National Cybersecurity Center (NCC). Notably, the technology has already been successfully used by active-duty military personnel in West Virginia’s primary and general elections in 2018 – the first time a state has offered blockchain-based mobile voting in a federal election.
To date, Voatz has coordinated 30+ successful blockchain voting pilot programs with more than 15,000 votes cast in its largest election. Other countries are also exploring the use of blockchain in elections, including Thailand, South Korea, and Japan, as we previously reported.
Commenting on blockchain-based voting, NCC CEO Vance Brown said, “The application of blockchain in our election system provides for secure, auditable, transparent and accurate counting of ballots and the increased integrity of our election system.”
Other uses for blockchain-based e-voting
The successful use of blockchain in municipal and general elections gives promise that the technology can be of value in other voting applications, such as company shareholder meetings.
In fact, financial messaging service SWIFT announced on March 5 that it is launching a blockchain e-voting proof of concept for shareholder meetings. Participants in this proof-of-concept trial include Deutsche Bank, DBS Bank, HSBC Bank, the Singapore Exchange (SGX), and Standard Chartered Bank.
SWIFT will be conducting the trial in partnership with software securities firm SLIB through the Asia-Pacific region during the first half of 2019.
According to SWIFT, its current paper-based voting process takes too long and is overly complex, requiring a significant amount of resources and leading to avoidable errors, especially in proxy voting.
What this means for businesses
Lisa O’Connor, a managing director at SWIFT, noted, “The expression of shareholders’ rights is often limited today by non-transparent, complex and inefficient paper-based processes. The emergence of blockchain technology is a new opportunity to look at improving these processes.”
Implementing blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions to simplify the management of shareholder meetings and associated voting processes is a use case that many businesses can benefit from – leading to improved efficiency, transparency, and security.
At Olypsis, we can help you design and implement blockchain solutions that give your business a cutting-edge advantage. We’re always ready to discuss your ideas and provide the guidance you need, whether for Dapp development, protocol engineering, smart contract auditing, or innovative DLT solutions for the future.