Investing Trading Cryptocurrency & Bitcoin How Blockchain Technology Can Change How We Vote By Jack Tatar Jack Tatar Twitter Jack Tatar has more than three decades worth of experience in the business world, focusing primarily on investing, cryptocurrency, and aiding the growth of technology companies. Jack Tatar wrote about bitcoin for The Balance. Before writing and editing about cryptocurrency and investing, Jack worked for Merrill Lynch as a licensed financial advisor and marketing executive. He is also recognized as a published author, specifically for his book, "What's the Deal with Bitcoins?," which is one of the first-ever books on cryptocurrency. learn about our editorial policies Updated on October 5, 2021 Reviewed by Thomas J. Brock Reviewed by Thomas J. Brock Thomas J. Brock is a CFA and CPA with more than 20 years of experience in various areas including investing, insurance portfolio management, finance and accounting, personal investment and financial planning advice, and development of educational materials about life insurance and annuities. learn about our financial review board Fact checked by Leila Najafi Sponsored by What's this? & Photo: Hill Street Studios / Getty Images Images from Arizona in 2016 showed lines of people waiting up to five hours to vote in just a primary election. Much of this had to do with the closing of voting locations to reduce costs, and some may contend that it was due to more people coming out to vote for certain candidates. Either way, the reality of this shows that in a time of technological advancement that includes self-driving cars, it seems there must a better way of voting than the way it’s being handled today. Key Takeaways Many in the blockchain world believe that blockchain technology can make voting more secure, easier, and allow for more people to perform their basic civic duty.The idea of improving voting with the technology popularized by bitcoin dates back to at least 2012.Since then, several companies have begun developing blockchain voting tools. How Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology Can Help The thought of bitcoin as a way to change the way we vote was considered during the early days of the new technology. In 2012, computer scientists in Canada were looking to exploit the capabilities of Bitcoin as “a form of ‘carbon dating’ for digital information" and "something that would make electronic voting more secure." Jeremy Clark and Aleksander Essex were computer scientists from Ontario-based universities who saw the potential for Bitcoin and blockchain technology to enhance the ability to secure and validate the voting process. Their method was called CommitCoin, and it provided a way to utilize blockchain technology to secure a person’s vote and not allow any election official or political individual to change a vote. Blockchain-Related Voting System Startups Among the startups that followed in an attempt to build upon the blockchain infrastructure to create a secure voting system was a Virginia-based company called FollowMyVote. Adam Ernest, the company's CEO, told Bitcoin Magazine that “there is a common misconception that voting cannot be done online in a secure way. However, the introduction of blockchain technology is changing the conversation.” Note His company creates a voting system that ensures that a vote is recorded one time (through the use of a token) for the specific candidate they want (placed into the candidate’s “wallet”) and permanently recorded on the blockchain. Another company working on creating a platform that uses blockchain technology to replace or enhance the current voting methods used today is BitCongress, which released a White Paper on its approach. The company uses the blockchain technology with a token-based system to control the voting system, ensuring one person matches with one unchangeable vote. This token is called a VOTE, and by using the blockchain to record each vote permanently, it ensures that there can be no manipulation of those votes or voting twice. The company has also built-in additional capabilities that allow for people to voice their opinions on various topics, enhancing the “voice of the people” approach of the app. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. NewScientist. "Bitcoin Online Currency Gets New Job in Web Security." Jeremy Clark and Aleksander Essex. "CommitCoin: Carbon Dating Commitments With Bitcoin."