November 3rd is approaching. The day when the U.S. will decide whether Donald Trump can begin his second term in office. In the presidential election, the postal vote plays an important role. Now the US Postal Service has applied for a patent for a blockchain-based voting system.
The U.S. President Donald Trump had repeatedly made negative comments about the postal vote. In his opinion, they would be susceptible to fraud. However, due to the corona pandemic, most U.S. states expect significantly more postal voters. Some people think the Republicans fear that the Democrats could benefit from the expansion of postal votes.
Trump against postal votes
Although the COVID-19 pandemic makes the standard personal election process on November 3 more difficult, Trump openly advocated withholding funds from the postal service to ensure the timely delivery of ballot papers. The Democrats see this as an attempt by the president to keep voter turnout low in his favor. Nancy Pelosi - the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives - called the delegates back from the summer break in the dispute over the U.S. Postal Service. On Friday, internal documents became known, according to which the Post Office is currently removing numerous letter sorting machines. There had also been reports about the reduction of mailboxes.
In the course of this discussion, the United States Postal Service (USPS) filed a patent for a Blockchain-based voting system back in February and published this step on Thursday. The patent application is 47 pages long and includes a large number of diagrams showing the various components of the proposed voting system.
Blockchain technology for US elections?
The patent application of the Post Office states:
"A voting system can use the security of the Blockchain and the Post Office to provide a reliable voting system. A registered voter receives a computer-readable code in the mail and confirms his identity at the time of voting. The voter also confirms the correctness of the voting information. The system separates voter identification and voting to ensure the anonymity of the election, and stores the votes on distributed ledgers in a Blockchain.'' - Patent application of the USPS
According to the postal authorities, blockchain-based voting should be more secure than ordinary postal voting and make manipulation impossible. It is not yet clear whether there will be enough time to use the technology in the upcoming election in November.