Using Blockchain to Secure the Next Election

The United States Postal Service (USPS) filed a patent application in February of 2020 for a secure voting system that uses a blockchain to encrypt and track electronic ballots. The patent teaches a method of using a mobile device to scan a physical code that provides election information and voter identification information to initiate a secure voting process. The block chain also receives input from an election official system to confirm receipt of a vote into the system. 

The USPS filed a similar patent in 2017 for cryptographically tracking votes; however, this new filing focuses more specifically on using a mobile device to actually cast votes rather than scanning a physical ballot. These technologies are particularly relevant right now as COVID-19 will likely cause an increase in absentee mail-in ballots even amidst flagging faith in the U.S. Postal Service due to changes in administration. If this system were implemented, citizens would only have to receive ballot information by mail and be able to vote electronically without worrying about their responses being lost or delayed. An electronic voting system could also eliminate many of the logistical challenges that exist around election season even without a national pandemic; however, bringing up such a system would require the government to put more resources into cybersecurity and accessibility. 

The U.S. government is not the only institution to consider blockchain-based voting; in fact, most of the patents in that sector are filed by companies such as Panasonic and IBM. You can view these documents, as well as more industrial applications of blockchain and cryptocurrency, on the Magic Number® Patent Radian®. 

Mail Truck, Mail Clerk, Mailman, Mail-Woman