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Tsukuba becomes first Japanese city to introduce digital blockchain voting system
Tsukuba became the first Japanese city to introduce a blockchain-driven online voting system with an aim to empower its residents to vote for social development programs, the Japan Times reported.
With this voting system, Tsukuba will use the East Asian country’s “My Number” system, a 12-digit social security identifier provided to all the citizens, to confirm the credentials of the voters prior to securing the vote being inauthentic or accessed through decentralized blockchain technology.
The voting system has been specifically deployed for the residents of Tsukuba to vote for proposals on local social development programs.
Under the first-of-its-kind voting system, voters will be required to place their My Number card on a card reader prior to casting their vote whilst choosing the program of their choice. The vote will then be registered on a decentralized ledger while making it tamperproof.
After casting a vote with the help of the digital online voting system, Tsukuba Mayor Tatsuo Igarashi said that he had presumed the system to entail some complicated procedures, however, it is easy and minimal.
The blockchain-driven online voting system, however, was not fully successful as a large number of voters failed to remember their passwords for which they were not able to cast a vote. The digital online voting system apparently needed an extra layer of security in the form of passwords to authenticate the people present at the ballot, rather than just scanning their social security card.
The city of Tsukuba is a hub of scientific research in Japan and is famous for its focus on advanced technology. With the online voting system, the Tsukuba government joins an expanding list of governments relying on blockchain technology to propel and secure voting solutions.
Earlier this year, West Virginia became the first state in the United States to test blockchain-secured mobile voting to enable military service members stationed in offshore locations to vote by using their federal or state ID over a smartphone app.
In June, Swiss city Zug enabled its residents to vote by using its eID system through via their smartphones on blockchain platform.
In August, an executive from Ukraine’s Central Election Commission confirmed a trial vote on a NEM blockchain.
Last month, Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the electoral body of the African country, announced its plan to adopt blockchain technology for a real-time ballot for voter transparency and to combat voter fraud and intimidation.