Blockchain Elections: Smart Contract Electoral System Design And Implementation

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nathaniel Patrick Hernandez (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Cindy Norris

Abstract: Proponents of Internet-based voting systems suggest that it might offer solutions to alleviate shortcomings that democratic institutions have fallen victim to. This has become especially relevant as governments and societies wrestle with the COVID-19 pandemic, state-sponsored election interference, and claims of election fraud. However, Internet voting systems are fraught with demonstrable risks proven by real-world security incidents. Voting systems are well-understood to have difficult to fulfill and often contradicting requirements, especially regarding security, privacy, and verifiability. The recent rise in popularity of blockchain-based technologies has renewed interest in such systems, and although unlikely that publicly available blockchain-based solutions could fulfill the requirements necessitated by large-scale elections, the availability of such systems might prove useful for lower-stakes on-chain decision-making. This research investigates blockchain-based electoral system design and implementation using Ethereum and Solidity. This research demonstrates that secure and verifiable voting systems can be built using "off-the-shelf" blockchain technologies when privacy constraints are loosened, but that the storage and computation requirements necessitated by their underlying electoral systems results in steep operational costs which likely renders on-chain voting systems impractical in most circumstances. This research identifies which electoral systems and features are most-viable in blockchain environments on the basis of these costs.

Additional Information

Hernandez, N. (2021). Blockchain Elections: Smart Contract Electoral System Design And Implementation. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2021
blockchain, electoral systems, smart contracts, elections

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