HERE IS HOW TO SOLVE THE ELECTION CRISIS
It was 2015, my first year in college,the session exams had to be concluded in a hurry so that every student might be home before the presidential elections begin, tense was the atmosphere that surrounded the election, prior to the elections many parties have threatened to wreck havoc if they don’t get elected. It was time to call the election results,everyone’s face was filled with surprise when the ruling party was defeated, a loyalist from the defeated party was even heard screaming “we’ll not take this, we’ll not take this”,everyone was waiting what the current president will say over the election,to many’s surprise he called the opposition leader to congratulate him but in his call few words stand out
“MY AMBITION IS NOT WORTH THE BLOOD OF ANY CITIZEN”, there was peace,some called him a coward for accepting the results but he did the right thing,2019 another election is coming up,the country has seen horrendous political reforms over the past three years,as citizens go to the polls,one is still left to ask CAN WE TRUST OUR ELECTORAL SYSTEMS
THE MOTIVATION TO RIG ELECTIONS
Elections into political offices in certain nations can be seen as a pathway to wealth, the financial status of one is altered overnight, he can subvert power to serve personal advantage. The acclaimed “financial success” that comes with winning elections is one reason why many are motivated to rig elections,many come before the masses and speak softly, pleading that they consider them worthwhile to be elected.
There exist weak institutions especially in Africa to fight corrupt practices by government officials, those who still public funds are dubbed Honorable, they are guarded by the police where they should be jailed. This supposed immunity and financial success are some reasons why many are motivated to rig elections
Where i come from,it is a known fact that a vote can be bought with less than $10, also no election takes place without taking a soul with it, many times election ballot papers have been stolen from polling units even amidst heavy security,we have seen results called for regions where no elections took place, many citizens have even retorted to no voting at all,the will of the electorates are no more respected as few who many call “the cabals” get to impose their will on the masses.
There is also a huge cost in funding elections,governments have to allocate massive funding,security personnel etc just in the determination of who the masses really want even when in most cases it is choosing just between two candidates,even a country in Africa is quoted to lack funds to run its elections,some polling units can the necessary resources to conduct elections.
The internet has changed the way we interact certain systems from how we consume information,to how we communicate,learn and do business but one area that is still lagging behind in the internet revolution is the issue of voting.
While the internet can enable people deal with systems right from anywhere they are,thereby cutting cost and reducing the time taken for such activities,one may do well to recognize some limitations that the internet is still grappling with.
The replication of content is a problem that will have to be solved if e-voting will be accepted at a wider scale,while one can send a single file to as many people as possible at almost zero cost,one cannot do that with votes. One is only allowed to vote for only one candidate
REINVENTING THE WHEEL
E-voting can now be possible and widely adopted using a technology that makes digital identity unique and a system that achieves consensus by a community.
It is called blockchain, yes i just said blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin. With this technology anyone can send money anytime, anywhere without the authority of any third party, one is only required to have a digital ID to be able to conduct transactions, transactions are packed in a block ,checked and confirmed by a successful node,broadcasted to the whole network,where everyone in the network gets to check the validity of the block of transactions just confirmed by the single individual,in the case where it is found to be true,that block is added to previous blocks in a chain like structure using mind-blowing cryptographic systems.
Applying blockchain to elections, the creating of an election identity can now come easy as users may only be required to upload certain documents, they can assign an identity which publicly verifiable but only the owner gets the key to unlock it and vote with it.
By creating user-friendly interfaces available on smartphones and linked to a blockchain(public or private), citizens may now vote with ease and get to see election results in real time.
Users identity are kept secret using zero-knowledge proofs, a system where an event is verified true without revealing much information.
Corporate organizations and even some states have already begun using blockchain based voting solutions, the question is no more if but when.