Applications and Use Cases

USPS Blockchain Patent Could Enable Secure Mail-in Voting

September 08, 2020

Considering the many problems that have plagued the United States Postal Service (USPS) over the past few months, a positive technology development may be looming on the horizon. The USPS has filed a patent for a mail-in voting system using blockchain as well as other technologies for verification.

The move would provide a safe and secure alternative to physical polling stations for voters amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The patent comes as President Trump has launched a campaign against mail-in voting, citing fraud and security concerns.

The patent, filed on August 13, "relates to a voting system that also incorporates the use of cryptographic elements, such as blockchains, as are used with cryptographic currencies, to track and secure the vote by mail system," according to the filing. It further states that, "In some embodiments, a blockchain allows the tracking of the various types of necessary data in a way that is secure and allows others to easily confirm that data has not been altered."

The solution would handle voting operations based on a blockchain, including ballot codes and electronic signatures. It would work with two databases and include other frameworks and concepts centered around blockchain-based voting.

“I think it’s a great idea," Darren Soto, U.S. Representative from Florida, recently told Cointelegraph. Soto is also co-chairman for the Blockchain Caucus, a government group focused on policy related to blockchain. "I’m real excited that the Post Office is working on this issue. It’s something that was a pleasant surprise for many in Congress. Certainly I could see it being utilized very soon, over the next couple of election cycles.”

The USPS blockchain mail-in voting system would call for collaboration among governing entities who oversee elections. Soto believes the new system would be implemented gradually, in areas where digital voting is already being used. This includes U.S. military personnel located out of the country.

Soto said the blockchain system would send out QR codes and store digital IDs and votes on the blockchain. The solution would also be able to separate ID from votes in order to preserve anonymity. It could also enable voters to print out proof of their completed votes.

To provide more information about how blockchain is being used by enterprises, the government and beyond, TMC is hosting The BlockChain Event on February 19-21, 2021, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The event will feature panel discussions, keynotes and case studies about the role of blockchain in a variety of industries and vertical markets.

Edited by Maurice Nagle



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