Miami’s Blockchain Democracy
Updated: Jul 18, 2019
Despite Florida’s rapidly growing population, the number of active voters is declining, especially among young Floridians. Tens of thousands of students march in protests against gun violence, yet their voices aren’t translating into votes. Why? They feel “government” is too distant and their voices too faint. The truth however is that our voices do count; we just couldn’t see it; until now.
Is there a solution?
Let’s put polling and voting on the blockchain!
Millennials, and every other citizen in the digital age should be able to see and trust results immediately. Blockchain can enable “instant” feedback, transparency, and traceability to establish (for the first time in a long time) trust between communities, their residents, and their governments. In July, the Government Blockchain Association (GBA) Miami will bring together tech-savvy experts, politicians, proactive citizens, professors, and students to a roundtable discussion on the potential for a ‘decentralized’ democracy and e-voting.
“While the mainstream struggle to wrap their heads around blockchain, we are pushing for a shift from explorational conversations to impactful applications with pilot projects ready to roll out immediately," said Silvio Frank Pupo, President of the Government Blockchain Association in Miami and CEO of Logos Capital. “It is critical to embrace how distributed ledger technology can benefit society at large and leap Miami into the global arena as a leading Smart City .”
One small step toward “blockchain voting” will be a pilot project rollout that empowers constituents and elected officials in real time to poll on City Commission agenda items (New MLS Stadium?).
Currently, the GBA is evaluating different applications for a blockchain voting platform aimed at boosting citizen engagement and government accountability.
Through this digitized and decentralized database, every vote will become a smart contract, which is publicly viewable and transparent - and still anonymous. Votes will be recorded into a ledger, which consists of all votes submitted, and is dispersed across a peer-to-peer network. It will guarantee that the data cannot be lost or altered so there is no chance for fraud or unwanted interference (pertinent issue given recent suspicions of foreign meddling in local elections). As manipulation of voting comes under increasing scrutiny, a decentralized blockchain voting system becomes a potential cybersecurity and transparency solution; essential ingredients to democracy in a digital era.
In 2017, Nasdaq trialed blockchain-based e-voting in Estonia, a country that is also very keen to embrace new-style electronic public services. Moreover, a number of blockchain-based voting systems are spread in the UK, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland. In the United States, the use of blockchain in the public sector reached another milestone when West Virginia became the first U.S. state to allow internet voting by blockchain in its May 2018 primary elections. Now, it’s Miami’s turn.