Thailand becomes first country to roll out blockchain voting for primary election
Blockchain in voting has been gaining traction but more in thought than in action in the U.S. with West Virginia being a notable exception. Thailand's Democrat Party, however, has taken more decisive steps towards implementation as Bitcoin Magazine reports. This party became the first political party in the world to elect its leaders in a primary election using blockchain.
Live e-voting was held from November 1–9, 2018 and more than 120,000 registered Democrats voted via blockchain to elect former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva by a margin of 67,505 votes.
Thai Democrats who participated in this primacy cast their ballot either through voting stations using a Raspberry Pi-based system or a blockchain-based mobile app requiring photo ID.
Data gathered from the app, including identification documents for verification as well as ballots, were encrypted and stored on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), a peer-to-peer file system that stores hashed files.
"I believe we’ve achieved a huge milestone in our country’s political history and hope that other political parties or even the government, not just in Thailand but the region, can look to using blockchain technology in enabling large-scale e-voting or polling."
These hashed files were then stored on the Zcoin blockchain for security and accountability by election authorities, which five individuals comprising representatives of each candidate, a Thai Election Commission election official and a Democrat party representative, decrypted the voting data.
Founder and lead developer of Zcoin, Poramin Insom issued a public statement on this milestone. “I am very proud that Zcoin played a role in making Thailand’s first large-scale e-vote, a reality, which saw greater voter participation and transparency.”
“I believe we’ve achieved a huge milestone in our country’s political history and hope that other political parties or even the government, not just in Thailand but the region, can look to using blockchain technology in enabling large-scale e-voting or polling,” Insom added.