Voting dApps Powered by Kadena Could Improve the Future of Elections
November 16, 2023
The 2000 general election for president of the United States of America was filled with complications that modern technology could have improved. Problems that year included issues with ballot design, voting technology, and the legal framework for resolving election disputes. The election demonstrated how seemingly minor issues in the electoral process can impact the outcome of a presidential election.
Decentralized applications (dApps) for voting, built on blockchain technology, offer a promising solution.
Kadena is the ideal platform for creating the most secure and scalable voting dApp.
Problems with Modern Voting, 2000 and Beyond
The voting process, in general, has many inefficiencies that could be improved.
Starting with issues that were specific to the 2000 election, but even to the present day, there are an array of issues that need to be fixed to improve integrity in the election process:
- Butterfly Ballots: Some voters were confused by the “butterfly ballot” design, which placed the candidates’ names on opposite sides of the punch card.
- Hanging Chads: Punch card voting systems resulted in “hanging chads” and “dimpled chads” on the punched ballots. These were names given to ambiguous markings that later led to disputes over vote validity.
- Recounts: Due to the close vote margin in Florida, there were calls for manual recounts. This process was highly contentious, with disputes over the standards for counting and handling ballots.
The 2000 US presidential election example underscores the need for ongoing efforts to improve and modernize election systems to ensure fairness, transparency, and accuracy. It also serves as a reminder of how closely contested elections can lead to legal battles.
Issues lead to significant trust deficits and detrimental outcomes (e.g., voter fraud, miscounts, and delays in vote calculation). However, issues in the voting system were not limited to the above election or the American voting system.
Here are some specific examples of international elections where blockchain could make a significant difference:
Venezuela: Blockchain could help to restore trust in the Venezuelan electoral system, which allegations of fraud and irregularities have plagued.
Nigeria: Blockchain could improve the efficiency and transparency of elections in Nigeria, where the traditional voting process is often slow and error-prone.
India: Blockchain could help to address the challenges of voter registration and identification in India, where millions of eligible voters are not properly registered.
Challenges with Traditional Voting Systems
Generally speaking, the traditional voting system has several inherent issues that blockchain-based voting dApps can address and solve. These issues include but are not limited to:
Transparency: Most aspects of election systems are opaque to the general public, starting with voter eligibility and ending with vote certification. This lack of transparency lends itself to corruption.
Double Voting and Fraud: Many voting systems do not have effective mechanisms to prevent double voting or fraudulent activities.
Centralization of Power: Generally, a single authority or government body oversees the voting process. This concentration of power can lead to suspicions of bias or manipulation.
Manual Voting Counting Errors: Manual vote counting is extremely time-consuming and prone to human error.
Accessibility: Traditional voting methods may exclude certain individuals due to physical disabilities, long distances to polling stations, or other barriers.
Cost and Time Efficiency: Running traditional elections can be costly, requiring significant resources for infrastructure, personnel, and logistics. It can also be time-consuming, particularly in manual counting, recounts, and audits.
Solutions Offered by Voting dApps
Voting dApps offer a promising solution to mitigate the flaws in a traditional voting system.
Furthermore, voting dApps can leverage the technological advantages of the blockchain. The benefits include decentralization, security, and transparency.
These benefits can enable individuals to participate in various types of voting and governance processes:
Enhanced Security and Immutable Records: Once a vote is recorded on the blockchain, it becomes extremely difficult to alter or tamper with, making election fraud or manipulation less likely. This provides a clear and permanent record of the voting process, which can be invaluable in auditing and verifying results.
Transparency and Trust: The transparency of the blockchain ledger means that every vote is recorded and visible to all participants, providing a high level of transparency and trust in the voting process. Transparency helps reduce suspicions of foul play and increases confidence in the results.
Global Accessibility: Voting dApps can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling the potential for global participation in various decision-making processes, including those that transcend national borders. This can be valuable for international organizations, online communities, and more.
Efficiency: Voting dApps can streamline the voting process, reducing the time it takes to conduct an election, count votes, and declare results.
Reduction of Fraud and Human Error: Double voting, voter impersonation, and other forms of election fraud become exceedingly difficult with a well-designed voting dApp.
Kadena Can Improve the Voting Process
Kadena’s unique combination of features, such as scalability and security, makes it the best blockchain to build voting DApps.
Here are some key reasons why Kadena stands out:
Scalability and Security
Kadena’s multi-chain architecture is a highly scalable and secure Layer-1 blockchain capable of handling the voting volume that elections will require. Scalability and security are crucial for voting dApps, especially during election season, when there is a high transaction volume. Scalability ensures that the dApp can handle many votes and transactions without network congestion or slowdowns.
Security further ensures the reliability of voting results without worrying about the electoral process being tampered with.
Easy Development and Auditability with Pact
Pact is Kadena’s human-readable smart contract language. It allows anyone with minimal developing experience to easily write onto a blockchain clearly, directly, and securely. Additionally, Pact smart contracts are not compiled to inscrutable bytecode. Instead, the human-readable source is on-chain for all to see.
In the context of a voting dApp, professional developers, election organizers, auditors, and voters, can understand and interact with the smart contracts that govern the voting process.
The technology would blend in similar to React on Instagram. The general public doesn’t think about the computer science programming used to build Instagram, rather, they use it because it’s an easy way to communicate with friends and see what their social circle is up to. Similarly, Pact can make voting technology secure and easy to use, seamlessly running in the background of dApps that power modern election systems.
Bugs can still hide in open-source programs, but with Pact, you can encode your assumptions and safety logic into mathematical proofs.
These can not only prove but also enforce the correctness of the voting code. An extra level of trust is given because the dApp would mathematically prove that it respects the rules of the voting system.
An election system experiencing downtime on election day would be disastrous for everyone involved. Voters would be significantly delayed, and some may not be able to register their votes, which would cast doubt on the overall election results. Digital election systems must come with guarantees and redundancies.
An election backed by Kadena’s blockchain would offer thousands of entry points into the system in the form of Chainweb nodes. If one node were to become overloaded or unavailable, an army of alternatives would be ready to step up to ensure the system is accessible by all voters at all times.
Minimal Fees with Kadena’s Gas Stations
Kadena’s gas stations, which allow businesses to eliminate customer transaction fees, can be especially beneficial for voting dApps. Developers can implement gas stations to subsidize or eliminate transaction fees for voters. Higher participation is encouraged, which makes the voting process more cost-effective.
Community and Support
Kadena has an active, growing community of developers and users. This community can provide valuable support, resources, and expertise for those looking to build voting DApps.
Voting for a Scalable and Secure Future
Kadena offers a powerful platform for building decentralized voting applications. Its unique blend of scalability, decentralization, security, and cost-effectiveness make Kadena the ideal candidate for ensuring a transparent and tamper-proof voting process.
By harnessing the power of Kadena’s blockchain technology, developers, governments, and organizations can revolutionize the way elections are conducted. With more transparency and immutability with voting, a new era of trust and integrity can be achieved in the voting process.
Want to build your own voting DApp? Check out Kadena’s Election Voting DApp Tutorial.
For more information on Kadena and Pact, please visit Kadena Docs!