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Polys from Kaspersky Innovation Hub presentsfirst blockchain-based voting machine

• Polys, a project from the Kaspersky Innovation Hubdeveloping a secure online voting
platform for businesses, universities and political parties, has unveiled a prototype ofits
newPolys Voting Machine. The device is the first of its kind to incorporate blockchain
technologies and work alongside thePolys online election system, so all votes – whether
cast at polling stations or on personal devices – are transmitted and processed together in
a secure way. This gives election participants a choice of how to vote, whilst
ensuringorganizers can introduce a secure online voting option with guaranteed privacy.
Online voting brings a number of benefits to both organizers and participants of an
election, including: the ability to vote remotely; automatically calculate results;
easelogisticalchallenges; and providecentralized process management. However, moving
voting onlinecan pose a barrier for people who are not habitual users of smartphones or
laptops, or those who simply prefer casting their vote in person at a polling station.
Another challenge is enabling a secret ballotto happen without revealing aperson’s
decision, whilst at the same time providing the ability for voters to check if their votes were counted.
To help overcome this issue, thePolys Voting Machinehas been created to work on
distributed ledger technology. This means that all vote information is stored in a decentralized manner on several blockchain nodes. The vote organizer can choose several
computers on which to store this data, for example, on those belonging to trusted organizations or independent observers. This minimizes the chances of vote tampering, as
malefactors would have to breach all of these computers in order to manipulate results.
To use one of the machines, voters would need to authenticatethemselves with documents
to prove their identity.Next they would receive a unique QRcode (or other token), which is not known by anyone except for the voter. After scanning it with a special device, he or she
canselectan option onadisplayonthePolysVotingMachine. ViathisQRcode, a person can also check on a special web application that his or her vote was registered in the blockchain, but
their name and choice will not be stored in the blockchain,topreventtracingittoaspecificindividual.
An access code can also be associatedto an election in a specific area. This means that
when voting, the citizen is only shown representatives for their local election even if they are ata polling station located in another region.To allow audits and recounts, a
specialPolys Printer can be connected to this distributed ledger providing an accurate paper trail. This device is located at the head office of the regional election teamand issues a
paper ballot once a decision is made.
Thevoting machines can beinterconnected withthe Polys online voting platform across a
singleblockchain system.This means they share one voter register which eliminates the possibility of a voter casting his or her vote twice, using different options. As a result, tech-
savvy users can vote securely from their smartphone or device using the online version, while those who prefer to visit the polling station can cast their votes on a Polys Voting
Machine – with all votes automatically encrypted andcounted.
This automatic countfunction significantly reduces staff and resource costs for organizers. It also means that results are available as soon as an election has closed, making the whole
process much faster and more efficient.
“From speaking to our customers, we understand the issues and inconvenience they face
when organizing paper-based voting. As we see from our Polys platform, e-voting can solve some of these issues, allowing more possibilities for remote participationand even
increasing turnout of younger people. However, if physical polling stations were to be closed completely,it would deprive and alienate certain groups of people from taking part
in an election and making their voice heard. That is why we introduced our new voting machines.Working together with the online platform, they allow citizens to vote using the
method they prefer, in a convenient and transparent way,” – commented Roman Aleshkin, head of product at Polys.
With these prototypes, the company offers the possibility of developing bespoke solutions
and devices based on thePolys platform, to fit specific needs and requirements of different
voting systems.
Polys offer a blockchain-based platform for voting in communities, non-profit
organizations, student councils, primaries, etc.Among the company’s projects is one of the
largest blockchain voting campaignsin Volgograd, in which more than 82,000 citizens took
part.

 

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