Will US Postal Service Soon Launch Blockchain –based Voting?

The blockchain technology has been making strides in the industry ever since Bitcoin hit the global market. What’s new? The US Postal Service may introduce blockchain-based mail-in voting.

The United States Postal Service is caught in a clash between Donald Trump, who is blocking the supplementary funding for the mail agency, which has suffered severe losses during the lockdown, and Democrats who are using the opportunity to sabotage.  

This is a recipe for disaster for the integrity of the 2020 presidential election. The mail agency has informed all agencies that mail-in ballots may not arrive on time for counting. Mail-sorting machines are disappearing in investment; the agency further adds.

The case of missing sorting machines and lack of funding, has led the agency to think ahead of its time. The agency plans to introduce blockchain-based mail-in voting. Naturally, the use of a blockchain-based system will eliminate fraud associated with voting. If the agency’s plans succeed, it will have a significant impact on combating voting frauds.

The US Postal Service filed a patent application on 7 February 2019. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (UPSTO) made the application public on August 13, after 18 –months of the quiet period.

The novel voting system will use traditional main and machine-readable code. The agency would deliver registered voters a barcode that confirms an individual has an identity and ballot information when uploaded online. According to the abstract of the filed patent, “ The system separates voter identification and votes to keep voters anonymity and store data on a distributed data.

What is blockchain technology?

Blockchain Technology is the reason behind Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. It uses a wide network of computers (also called nodes ) to mine currency. Cryptocurrencies aren’t created by the government and instead uses a distributed network for consent, so a cryptocurrency is immune to malfeasance, in real life.  The adoption of the technology is growing consistently, as a result, the blockchain industry has grown tremendously.

Blockchain-based Voting

Generally, voters wish to vote for elected officials in a convenient and secure manner. Plus, agencies that hold elections want to ensure that election results are not tampered with and that results correspond to the votes that are cast. Blockchain-based voting will allow tracking of data in a secure and easy manner, which are nearly impossible to alter with.  

Patents can take years to come to fruition as a legal product or service. Therefore, this voting system will certainly not be used in the 2020 election. Further, patent application is provision, so chances are extremely high that USPTO may not grant patent at all.

In the absence of blockchain technology-based voting, registered voters will be entitled to a mail-in ballot for the 2020 election, according to the Washington-based the Bipartisan Policy Center. 

The citizens of America are concerned about coming out for voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. In all American states, voters who are scared of the risk of getting infected can request mail-in ballot from their election officials or will receive the mail automatically. Due to COVID-19, in some states, voters will receive a mail ballot application to encourage voting in that manner.

Donald Trump, the president of the US, however, has expressed concerns that mail-in voting is a probe to fraud. The president has expressed his concern, first, that the person who casts the vote is the real person whose name is on the ballot. Second, ballots can be tempered with once it is mailed.

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