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Brazil tests blockchain projects to modernize its electoral system

Key facts:

4 startups tested their projects in simulations deployed in four Brazilian cities.

The Superior Electoral Court looks for modern and economic electoral systems.

As part of its Elections of the Future program, Brazil’s Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) piloted four blockchain-based electronic voting systems. The body works with the idea of ​​improving the country’s electoral process and, eventually, allowing digital voting.

Last Sunday, during the first round of municipal elections in Brazil, some 26 companies were able to do public demonstrations with their proposals to modernize the electoral system from Brazil. Among the companies with projects based on blockchain were GoLedger, Waves Enterprise, IBM and OriginalMy, as reported by the media.

In the cities of Curitiba, Valparaíso de Goiás, Sao Paulo and Paraná, citizens tested the different proposals in drills monitored by the Electoral Justice. During the process, voters voluntarily participated to vote for fictitious candidates.

The startup Waves, from the homonymous cryptocurrency, proposes a solution that validates the identity of the voter by issuing a QR code scanned with a mobile phone. Once the voter chooses the candidate of their choice, votes are recorded on a blockchain. The company presents its project in a video in which it points out that the system invalidates the vote of citizens who try to vote more than once.

For its part, IBM presents a proposal that is based on the current system, which has the presence of an electoral inspector in an area or college selected to carry out the process. The system also issues a QR code and records voters’ votes on the IBM blockchain, which can be verified by each voter.

OriginalMy proposes a system that allows remote voting, validating identity through its own ID previously registered on a blockchain. Once the voter casts his vote, he receives a code that will allow him to choose between the different candidates. Through this method, citizens can cast as many votes as they wish, but the system will validate the last vote received before closing the electoral process. According to the company, in this way, if a citizen is coerced to vote for a certain candidate, they can later vote again to change their preference.

Goledger’s proposal consists of linking the system with the National Civil Identification Base of Brazil with the idea of ​​protecting voter data. The company’s promise is that its solution guarantees voter privacy. It also issues a digital receipt to offer confidence that the vote was registered on a blockchain and at the same time offers the guarantee of immutability, allowing a real-time audit.

After knowing the possibilities, the TSE will study the best strategy so that the next election is more modern and cheaper to implement. This taking into account that every two years Brazil’s elections cost approximately one billion reais (USD 188 billion), according to what was commented in a virtual meeting by Marcos Sarre, CEO of the startup GoLedger, one of the participants in the simulation.

Sarre extracts from the meetings he has held with the TSE that the body is not focused on an electoral system where citizens can vote from home. Rather, it seeks a solution that places the voter in electoral zones, that is cheaper than the current one and that at the same time offer security and improvements to the system used by Brazil since 1996 for their electoral processes.

From Sarre’s perspective, the most secure and modern system is the one that uses a signed audit code, which blockchain solves with ease, he said in conversation with Brazilian entrepreneur Gustavo Cunha.

Blockchain system for the elections of the future in Brazil

Waldir Sebastião de Nuevo Campos Junior, president of the Regional Electoral Tribunal of Sao Paulo, said that the “Future Elections” project is not focused on an immediate change in Brazil’s electoral system, but rather means a trial and error of existing solutions to make improvements in the future.

For Campos Junior, the great challenge of these new systems is to guarantee the security of the electoral process and that the voter can cast their free and informed vote in an environment that does not have any type of supervision. He added that, for now, The TSE’s plan is to offer the opportunity for companies to present their projects.

In an official publication, the TSE reported that the challenge faced by companies is to guarantee the security of the vote, protection of the anonymity of the elector and at the same time an auditable and efficient system.

In any case, as CriptoNoticias has been reporting, there are currently proposals that offer alternatives to modernize the electoral systems that are known today, although so far none offers fewer vulnerabilities.