The country will use a blockchain-based electronic voting platform in the election for the constitutional reform that will take place between June 25th and 30th.

Russia is preparing its next national elections, where citizens will decide whether or not to approve the new amendment to the Constitution. Due to the recent social distancing measures to counter the Covid-19 outbreak, the electoral body announced that it will use an electronic voting system based on blockchain technology since this platform would help keep the data safe and avoid physical contact.

The name of the new voting system is e-voting. The country will use this platform for the first time in the constitutional reform that could extend the presidential term to 12 years, according to local media reports.

The government agency in charge of the system released a statement last Friday 6th. In the statement, the agency reported that the system will follow the traditional voting laws, so that all young people over 18 years old may vote for or against the amendment.

This statement also explains that the new method will test all the capabilities of blockchain technology to provide a more transparent and reliable electoral system.

About the Elections

The new constitutional reform in Russia proposes, in the first instance, the extension of the presidential term to 12 years. This is something that would make current President, Vladimir Putin, govern the country until 2036, according to some estimates. Besides, the amendment hopes to address issues such as public health and the minimum monthly income for workers in the public and private sectors.

The government announcement contains a user manual that explains how will run the electronic voting process. At the same time, the government specified the importance of this advance and how innovative it is to implement blockchain in elections.

Part of the statement details the operation of the network that will support electronic voting, mentioning how the system will allow voting to be secure. “Blockchain technology will guarantee the security and transparency of electronic voting. This network does not have a single server. For that reason, to change the bulletin information it is necessary to obtain approval from the majority of the participants in the network, making it almost impossible to violate the blockchain. The voice itself is anonymized and encrypted”.

To conclude, the Russian government recalled that people who have recently reached the age to participate in the process will be able to formalize the registration until next June 21st. The elections will take place between June 25th and 30th.

Russia has been conducting important experiments and tests to use blockchain technology in election processes. A local media reviewed an example of this in mid-May 2019 when the country used an electronic voting process to select representatives of the Student Councils in Moscow.

Although the Russian government implements blockchain-based solutions, it still maintains a hostile stance with the use of cryptocurrencies. Recently, the Russian press reported that the government was preparing a new package of sanctions aimed at people who trade using these digital assets. Sanctions range from fines to jail terms for those who use digital currencies in the country.

By María Rodríguez


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