Switzerland’s Canton of Zug, where the Crypto Valley is based, will trial a non-binding blockchain vote on a number of local issues on ethereum’s blockchain.
Around 200 citizens and residents of Zug who have registered for a Uport ID will be asked to vote through the blockchain on a number of matters, including, according to local media:
“On whether they are in favour of fireworks at the annual Lakeside Festival, and whether they think digital IDs should be used to borrow books from the library or pay parking fees.
Users will also be asked if the blockchain-based digital ID system should be used for regular referendum votes in [the] future.”
This is the first official trial of blockchain voting in Europe as far as we are aware, with it all made possible due to a blockchain based ID system created by Uport. On announcing its launch, Uport said at the time:
“After downloading the Uport mobile app, a Zug citizen registers their Uport ID on the Ethereum blockchain. This globally unique identifier is the public address of a smart contract known as a Uport Proxy Contract.”
Citizens then enter their personal identifying information, with an official at Zug’s in-person offices verifying it is all correct.
Once they are satisfied of the individual’s identity, they “issue a digital citizenship credential to their Uport ID. This credential represents a digital attestation from Zug, to the citizen, claiming their active citizenship.”
With their identity now blockchenized, they can take part in this trial vote through Uport’s smartphone app, with the canton then to analyze the results and hopefully to publish a report.
So making this trial interesting because voting is currently based on trust. There is endless fraud, much of it documented, and lack of trust in the voting system can lead to a descent into civil chaos in some, especially developing, countries.
With blockchain tech you could potentially verify the results even as an ordinary citizen, something which currently is practically impossible as no one can sit there to himself count millions of votes.
While with blockchain technology you could potentially even as an individual say: no, my vote was counted wrong. That would require some complex encryption to ensure voters anonymity, with whether this can be hacked being another question.
But the potential to move from a trusted voting system to one where trust is minimized considerably does hold significant promise.