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Author Topic: Possibly not a unique idea ... but ... votecoin  (Read 1651 times)
realnowhereman
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June 08, 2011, 07:05:58 PM
 #1

Has anyone else thought that the blockchain technology could be used to run anonymous, verifiable, online votes?

Each citizen would be issued with a single VoteCoin.  Then the election would be held by each person sending their vote to which ever candidate address they like.

Double votes would be impossible.  Anyone who wanted to check their vote was correctly recorded could do so.  The count would happen automatically.  Anonymous voting is possible.  Plausible deniability when pressured voting is a possibility is easily available (you just use block explorer and pick someone elses vote to announce).

I'd love to be able to vote like this.

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herzmeister
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June 08, 2011, 07:26:50 PM
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In my utopia, we don't need votecoins because there are no leaders to elect.

Instead, we'd "vote" directly with our bitcoins for projects that we find appealing, like researching better/cleaner/more efficient energy, the road that connects your village to the new super glass tube highway, expanding and beautifying the nature park nearby.

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Sukrim
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June 08, 2011, 07:29:46 PM
 #3

A few issues:

1) How do you ensure that every citizen has only 1 single votecoin all the time (so no "buying votecoins" from others), can only vote for his/her local candidate while still being relatively anonymous? Most likely Votecoin would be an internal system used inside voting machines...

2) Bitcoin (and other blockchains) essentially work like a giant "clock" - once you know when a person roughly has voted, there are not that many possibilities - especially in smaller communities this can lead to issues.

3) Security of wallets: It is highly unlikely that in the voting cabin someone steals my ballot - computers however HAVE to be online to vote(!) and are usually infested with a lot of stuff that is not necessarily controllable from the outside.

4) Double spending attacks etc.! You have to have government certified + protected miners. Luckily, a single GPU can keep up a difficulty above 1, so the block generation rate is easily ensured. Security of the network is however dependent on a lot of trust - and especially in IT systems weaknesses can be very fast + easily exploited.

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MacFall
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June 08, 2011, 07:58:17 PM
 #4

In my utopia, we don't need votecoins because there are no leaders to elect.

In mine as well, but that doesn't mean that there wouldn't be decisions that couldn't be made fairly and efficiently through voting.

I just think they would all be so few and on so small a scale (like rise in favor and count those who stand to see who becomes the next president of the local Lion's Club chapter) that "votecoins" would be unnecessary.

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adrian33
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June 08, 2011, 08:38:48 PM
 #5

I like the idea, but wouldn't it be easy to sell one's vote. In Brewster's Millions, he pays people $5 each to vote for 'none of the above' in the upcoming election. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewster%27s_Millions_(1985_film)

realnowhereman
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June 08, 2011, 11:11:51 PM
 #6

A few issues:

Hmmm.  All good points.  I'm not sure they are actually solveable.  Here are my comments, rather than solutions...

1) How do you ensure that every citizen has only 1 single votecoin all the time (so no "buying votecoins" from others), can only vote for his/her local candidate while still being relatively anonymous? Most likely Votecoin would be an internal system used inside voting machines...

Short of giving votes to IDs, there is no way to guarantee this in our current election systems.

2) Bitcoin (and other blockchains) essentially work like a giant "clock" - once you know when a person roughly has voted, there are not that many possibilities - especially in smaller communities this can lead to issues.

But you don't know which person matches up with which coin.  Well I suppose the original issuer does... which, to be honest, is a major problem.

3) Security of wallets: It is highly unlikely that in the voting cabin someone steals my ballot - computers however HAVE to be online to vote(!) and are usually infested with a lot of stuff that is not necessarily controllable from the outside.

If the private key for the votecoin were on the invitation to vote, and that were entered into a computer in the voting booth (scanned, or RFID or something), then this problem could be reduced.  Once you've voted the votecoin is spent and can't be used again anyway, so it doesn't matter if someone else has a copy.

4) Double spending attacks etc.! You have to have government certified + protected miners. Luckily, a single GPU can keep up a difficulty above 1, so the block generation rate is easily ensured. Security of the network is however dependent on a lot of trust - and especially in IT systems weaknesses can be very fast + easily exploited.

This is true.  What if the voting chain were simply the current block chain?  There's enough trust in that chain already.

I accept they are all pretty weak responses.  I'm happy to abandon the idea in the face of these problems.  (it's not like I was sitting here writing the program anyway).

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generalunited
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June 09, 2011, 08:18:55 PM
 #7

sounds good.

http://vote.coin.is/1Gy8cVUKykZqQ5MmCyKMCi7ExwY8NvgeLA

or better yet

http://vote.is/1Gy8cVUKykZqQ5MmCyKMCi7ExwY8NvgeLA


using this for national elections is one thing --- but going down to the example of an organization voting on executive members --- or inside universities where club members vote on how to spend the budget --- or --- i dont really know... a general purpose voting system based on cryptography is not an idea that should be easily tossed away...
Stevie1024
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June 10, 2011, 08:19:17 AM
 #8

Actually yes, I have thought about this. And it would be a fantastic application for Bitcoins. And that's one of the reasons I'm fighting here for a proper bitcoin.

Voting could go like this:

1) Someone puts up a vote.
2) Anyone willing to vote pays a number of bitcoins backing up his/her vote.
3) Winning the vote will be the side that put up the most backing bitcoins.
4) All bitcoins that were backing up the vote are redistributed among all voters, where each voter gets an equal share.

So yes, you can buy votes, just like in real life. But it'll probably cost you more and it's transparent. Please shoot!

I'm out of here!
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