Blockchain-based internet voting: systems’ compliance with international standards
Type of work: Communication
Blockchain has emerged as the technology claiming to change the way services are delivered nowadays, from banking to public administrations. The field of elections, and specifically internet voting, is not an exception. As a distributed audit layer, it is expected that blockchain technology will provide more transparency to such services, while preventing that a simple agent can tamper with electoral electronic data. Elections require a challenging combination of privacy and integrity. For instance, a system that would store ballots in clear on a public blockchain, while transparent, would not comply with secret suffrage, one key principle for democratic elections. For this reason, the motivation of this paper is assessing the potential of blockchain technology in internet voting. To this end we analyse several blockchain-based internet voting systems and their degree of compliance against a set of commonly accepted properties, namely those of the Council of Europe. This has allowed us to identify a set of common features and challenges on how blockchain can contribute to the conduct of e-enabled elections and referendums.