Why the United States Election System Must Adopt Blockchain Technology (Op-Ed)
This op-ed article looks to expand on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the recent 2016 U.S. Presidential election, and how changes to the working system need to be made.
Talking about the election with my family and friends, many reflect a complacent and, frankly, spoiled attitude about the manner in which things are done in the U.S. Many either don’t know or don’t care that the national election can be easily manipulated, at least in certain key counties, which hold the capacity to influence states, which further hold the ability to influence elections.
This op-ed article will look to expand on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the recent 2016 U.S. presidential election, and how, regardless of who you supported, changes to the working system need to be made that will protect the integrity of the vote in the future.
Politics are a dirty game, and many great leaders don’t want to get their hands dirty
Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, making him the 45th President of the United States, provided that the electoral college votes are properly and ethically cast in support of the popular vote - theoretically, an elector can vote any way they wish, regardless of the popular vote. Donald Trump could have ran for president at any time over the last 30 years, but the political process and its underbelly were surely one of the factors that deterred him from becoming the most powerful person in the world.
There are many factors that make becoming a major American politician unattractive for a private businessman, but the election process may be chief among them. When one considers the months spent traveling to new cities and states multiple times a day, the hotel rooms, the jet lag, the local politicians you need to wine and dine and the infrastructure that needs to be built to gain local voters, you begin to understand that there is a lot that goes into winning an election.
Even assuming you get everything right, you could still lose an election to voter fraud. Just look at the 2000 presidential election. This article in the New York Times, sixteen years ago, goes over all the problems, both illegal in nature and mismanaged, that caused a controversial win for President Bush in the swing state of Florida. I was living and voting in Florida at the time, and bags of votes were seen taken from the voting precincts to be discarded or not counted.
This one state decided the 2000 presidential election, and “swing states” are where shady voting tactics taken place in major elections. Fraud is concentrated in states where they can “swing” an election, with more stable states not prone to such issues and irregularities. There are no coincidences in politics.
President Trump knows the truth, as do I
In the most recent presidential election, either voting laws were broken or massive fraud was recorded throughout the nation. In Philadelphia, this involved the physical intimidation of Trump poll-watchers, and people being told to vote for Hillary Clinton by pollsters on election day. People would click Trump on the ballot and the vote would only register for Clinton. Even dead people have been known to vote, multiple times!
Philly:#Trump pollwatcher threatened with a belt. Has left polling place. Feared attack was imminent. Wissinomming Rec.— Mike Roman (@mikeroman) November 8, 2016
Don’t you wonder why Hillary Clinton did not ask for a recount of this fairly close election? Most probably because 10-20 mln skeletons would’ve come flying out of that closet, once you take out multiple votes by individuals, voter irregularities, dead people voting, etc.
President Trump said months ago that the voting system was rigged, and the facts support him after the election, but he still won anyway. In reality, he probably outscored Clinton by several million votes, but the aforementioned issues, which inflated Clinton’s vote totals, made it seem closer than it really was. The final tally of all the votes shows Clinton outvoting Trump, however, do you really believe that was the case? President Trump knows the truth, as do I, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter.
Regarding illegal immigrants and aliens voting, this was even more rampant, and in many ways legitimized by Clinton supporters. A dozen U.S. states allow illegal immigrants to vote in federal elections by way of allowing them to obtain driver’s licenses. Once you have a license, you can vote in your local elections. One of these states just so happens to be California, where Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.5 mln ballots. Even President Obama encouraged illegal immigrants to vote, implying that just making a vote makes them a U.S. citizen!
Did you know that in 25 percent of the country you can get a driver’s license and vote without even being a citizen? I didn’t, and I wonder if you went over to France or Germany, on vacation, could you get a driver’s license in two weeks and vote in the national election by the end of the month? What do you think? Does it sound possible? You know what they say, only in America.
Will the national voting system ever be perfect? No. Election fraud can only take you so far in a system so vast, consisting of so many counties and with people returning to vote after years away from the process. Yet one key state, like Florida in 2000, having issues with fraud can change the outcome of an election.
If one key city or county can be corrupted by poor election practices, an entire state can swing to favor one candidate, influencing the electoral college vote and the entire election. These elections are too important to leave to chance and human error, or worse.
With more computerized voting taking place, there are more opportunities for hacks, both internal and external, and a great country like the United States needs a great voting protection system. Blockchain technology should be employed by the 2020 presidential election, and vetted on smaller state and senate elections by 2018.
I won’t go over the details of adding such a system, but what is known is that it is definitely possible to do, at a large scale. China is putting their entire social security system on a Blockchain, which would dwarf America’s voting system in size. Anything China can do in the technology realm, the United States can do as well, if not better. If China can do something on that scale now, on a Blockchain, America can get this done in four years, if not less. Read this article on how a blockchain would be integrated into an election system.
Don’t be a lazy American!
It would provide the same unalterable benefits to voters that it does to Bitcoin users as well as it does to major banks, corporations, and other national systems. Last year, I reported on the American state of Connecticut using Blockchain technology to help them perform government surveys, and the next few years will see more and more elections and government agencies using Blockchain technology for more efficient, incorruptible, and secure processes.
Illegal immigrants should not get a driver's license, much less vote, so the voting laws also need to be updated to compensate for these states’ rights. No one should be able to vote multiple times and dead people should be scrubbed from the voting rolls. In addition, a Blockchain would ensure that other people can’t vote for you ahead of time, and prevent individuals from voting more than once.
Don’t be a lazy American! Be a President Trump, and look for ways for America to be better, to do better. Don’t rest on your laurels, make America and its systems the best in the world. Why not add true integrity and immutability into the political voting process? We have the technology, so use it.
Mr. President, you should add Blockchain technology adoption for elections to your to-do list in your first 100 days in office. Why go through these issues again in four years? Blockchain technology can help avoid many of these issues in the future and make America’s voting system great again.