The Bolivian Chamber of Commerce held the elections for the new board of directors last June 25th
Through a statement, the Chamber of Commerce in Bolivia announced the installation of a blockchain system that allowed conducting the elections for the body’s board of directors. According to the statement, the blockchain platform allows electronic voting as an alternative to the traditional system. This is a health control measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
As the Chamber of Commerce planned, the elections took place last June 25th and had an advanced blockchain system that allowed voting, managing and auditing the votes, as well as doing the process electronically.
Regarding the system and its voting population, the current president of the Chamber of Commerce in Bolivia, Rolando Kempff, mentioned that thousands of members used this new system. These partners are part of all the departments of the country.
On this point, some local press reported that the system authenticates the identity of the voter and authorizes them to vote without having to mobilize. Voters only need the use of smartphones or a computer with Internet access to participate.
Regarding the system security, Kempff mentioned that the blockchain platform maintains the transparency and trust necessary to conduct the process. However, it did not provide details on whether the system belongs to a public or private network or whether the system uses a method of recognition between the user’s digital identity and the physical identification of the traditional method.
Blockchain Implementation in Pandemic Times
Proposals for the use of blockchain technology in many aspects of people’s daily lives grow day by day. This adoption happens amid uncertainties about how long the quarantine can last.
In many ways, a blockchain network can simplify the process of document registration in notaries or improve traceability at different stages of the supply chain in some economic sectors. However, in electoral matters, not all users agree with the electronic voting method. In many cases, they consider that this system could be vulnerable to hacker attacks or system failures.
Other institutions have already conducted some studies on trust and receptivity on this voting method and even technical research, where the use of these alternatives may represent a significant risk. For instance, the Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues of the American Association for the Advancement of Science published a statement some time ago expressing insecurity and concern about electronic voting methods.
According to the statement, it is noted that, in the absence of a physical record that commonly plays a role with the voter’s choice, a valid and transparent audit is impossible. They highlight that the record generated by the use of email or fingerprints from the use of mobile phones or computers is not sufficient to establish a strong record.
Recently, the Gabriel René Moreno Autonomous University held an election experience, thanks to blockchain technology. The idea was to choose the university directive of fourth-year students of Law. The elections were a success and representatives of the university said that blockchain technology is an excellent alternative to conduct elections.
By María Rodríguez