Voting Ills

Time for Blockchain voting

Rotted, antiquated voting process in the U.S. is a mockery to Democracy

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The midterm elections in the U.S. drew a record high 113 million voters.
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Casting votes the old-fashioned way in Arlington, VA.
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It’s a sick joke. America! The land of the “Exceptionals.” The home of “We’re #1.” “Geek Central” Silicon Valley Techno-wizards… a nation with voting systems on par with Zimbabwe…or maybe worse.

Some two weeks after the mid-term elections in the United States, critical high-profile gubernatorial, Senate and House races have remained unresolved. Besieged by lawsuits and claims of fraud and incompetency, despite who wins, as with the infamous Florida “hanging chad” election that gave the 2000 presidency to George W. Bush, the credibility of each outcome will be tainted.

In the United States there is no united voting system. Instead, each state’s politicians create the system they think is best. They select machines not because of the most advanced, un-hackable, reliable ballot-counting technology, but rather from voting machine makers who contribute the most to their political campaigns.

Take a look at the photos, listen to the news, read the newspapers: From New York to California from North to South, voting machine breakdowns; frustrated citizens waiting hours on line to vote; confusing ballots that are hard to fill out and difficult to understand.

And then when the polls close, election volunteers, usually political party members, use #2 pencils and grade school rulers to line up and count votes. Missing ballots conveniently disappear and tens of thousands of calls to hotlines to complain about voting irregularities marked the November 2018 election across the self-proclaimed world’s greatest democracy and technology leader.

From its rotting and crumbling roads, Third World rail systems, dilapidated airports, dangerous electrical grids and poisoned water/sewer plants… America’s archaic voting technology and protocols are failing.

With limited faith in the credibility and effectiveness of voting systems, this election saw an unprecedented 6,500 lawyers and voting “specialists” from both political parties deployed across 30 states to “monitor” ballot access and counting.

Voter turnout for the 2018 midterm elections hit a new high with some 113 million votes cast, about 48 percent of all eligible voters, up from 38 percent who voted in 2014’s mid-term elections.

And now, with each day of new headlines illustrating both the incompetency of the election officials in charge and the obsolete, broken down voting system, the already low trust the public had in voting has sunk to new lows.

WELCOME TO THE 21st CENTURY

It’s time to vote online and do away with the centuries-old voting system of waiting on line and filling out ballots with crayons and magic markers.

Of course, the kneejerk reaction from the establishment, continually ignoring the decades of their failing voting systems is: Online voting is unsecure and can be hacked.

As we have long forecast, Direct Democracy in the form of online voting is the answer to not only correct the casting and counting of votes, but to make it easier and more direct for We The People to exercise their rights.

Indeed, we identified Blockhain Democracy as one of our Top Trends for 2018. We forecast that voting irregularities will grow more severe, especially when the system is taxed with higher turnout as it was this mid-term.

In making our forecast last December, we stated: “Blockchain technology, will prove a secure, accurate system for online voting.”

Trust in the technology is growing across myriad fields because Blockchain encrypts data, thus preventing the record of transactions from being hacked or altered. The technology is being embraced by the biggest banks and financial institutions, insurance giants, new technology companies, major industries and an increasing number of governments worldwide.

In fact, international banking giants Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Bank of China, Standard Chartered and others have accelerated efforts to launch Blockchain platforms and have begun to test global transactions using the technology.

Therefore, if trillions of dollars can be transferred in milliseconds across the globe, voting systems can be designed to count a few million votes over the course of day.

Even though we can bank online, pay for virtually anything online, get a college education online, put your personal health records online… the longstanding mindset that electronic voting systems are unsafe is another lie promoted by political parties to serve their self-interests.

In the digital new world of smartphones and apps, from Baby Boomers to millennials, and especially for Generation Z – and the new ones yet to be born – the digital sphere is where they live, work and put their trust in. Thus, the centuries old failed voting system of today is not only inadequate and corrupted, it’s anathema to virtually every aspect of today’s virtual world.

BIGGER THAN BLOCKCHAIN

Beyond just voting online during election time, the larger and more potent trend, Blockchain Democracy, will make politicians and the current election process obsolete by diluting the power of political parties and putting the power in the hands of We the People.

For example, the most advanced model of Direct Democracy is practiced in Switzerland and is growing. There online voting gives citizens a direct say in not only electing politicians but voting on everything from municipal budgets to ethics policies.

Global IT service provider Luxoft Holding, Inc., for example, has partnered with the City of Zug and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, and successfully launched the world’s first Blockchain-based e-voting system used in a major city.

But in the U.S., while West Virginia became the first state in the nation to use Internet voting with Blockchain technology in a federal general election, piloting the program for military and other voters living overseas to vote in the midterms, its Secretary of State Mac Warner stated there are no plans to extend the program to regular voters. TJ


TREND FORECAST

The West Virginia trial was, buy its own assessment from Warner, a “complete success.” But the political elites will not extend it because, as noted earlier, that will give power back to people.

But as trust in Blockchain technology to support online voting continues to grow, and dissatisfaction with political institutions accelerates globally, Blockchain Democracy will gain momentum.

As evidenced by populist movements spreading across the globe, citizens of the world are disgusted with ingrained political systems, in which elected officials carry out the will of special interests, enriching themselves with bribes and payoffs (deceptively labeled as campaign contributions), rather than serving the public’s interest.

Again, in reaffirming our forecast, the only obstacle to Blockchain Voting is the people’s will to make it happen.