Thailand Employs Blockchain-Based E-Voting System in Primaries

straitstimes.com

The Democrat Party in Thailand becomes the first ever political faction to exploit the power of Blockchain tech in electing its leaders in a primary election held between November 1 and 9. Over 120,000 party members cast their votes via live e-voting procedure which resulted in former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva retaining his Democrat Party leadership with 67,505 votes.

Party members cast their votes by means of two methods. The first method involved the use of voting stations that utilized the Raspberry Pi-based system. The second method saw voters casting their votes through a Blockchain-powered mobile application that required voters to submit their photo ID.

An InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) stores and encrypts the identification documents used in verifying party members and vote tallies. An IPFS is a decentralized and distributed file system intended for huge volumes of data. It also uses peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol where nodes have the capacity to store a suite of hashed files on a network.

The IPFS hashes, for this particular election, were stored on top of the Zcoin Blockchain, serving as an “immutable database and provided auditability to the Thai Election Commission and the Democrat Party candidates.”

In a press statement, Zcoin founder and lead developer Poramin Insom said:

“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.”

Encryption keys were split by means of Shamir’s Secret Sharing Scheme in order to keep voting data and documents safe. Shamir Scheme functioned just like a multi-sig, which requires multiple private keys, used in crypto wallets.

Multiple custodians needed to decrypt the voting data with the Shamir Scheme.

During the primary election, five people were tasked to decrypt the voting data namely the representatives of each candidate, a Thai Election Commission official, and a Democrat Party representative.

Insom claimed:

“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.”

Just last November 9, West Virginia held a Blockchain test run of the federal general election for the military and American citizens stationed overseas. It utilized the Voatz-designed mobile app in verifying voters’ identities by means of facial recognition technology.