Sierra Leone is the first state in the world where presidential elections were held by means of the blockchain technology used as an additional layer of ensuring honesty at a calculation of the voting results.
Technical support and realization of an initiative were provided by the Swiss startup Agora which for two years was engaged in the development of a private blockchain. Similar blockchains with access rights give the chance to appoint validators of the blocks and participants responsible for decision-making.
The Red Cross, the Higher technical school of Lausanne and University if Freiburg were operators of nodes with the access to write in the register. Besides, anyone could watch the process through the additional nodes working in the mode “only for reading”.
Besides, the use of blockchain allows not only to reduce risks of intervention in the voting process but also to organize faster publication of the results. Although, a number of processes, and first of all, directly entering the data into the blockchain, were conducted manually by the employees of Agora. Nevertheless, the results of elections were announced byAgora two hours quicker than by the election commission.
The example of using the blockchain technology for checking the correctness of bulletins and the end result of the vote in Sierra Leone is also remarkable because the results of presidential elections in this African country on the background of the recent bloody civil war gained the increased value. At the same time, since 1961 the most part of places in parliament was traditionally taken by the competing Parties of the national congress and the People’s party Sierra Leone, this time in bulletins names of 16 candidates of the most different political forces were entered.
“In the future blockchain will be used during all the elections. The blockchain is the only technology which is capable to offer a completely transparent platform for demonstrably fair elections.”
— the representative of the Agora notes.