A bill proposed in Alaska would make it the first state in the U.S. to leverage blockchain for statewide voting, Alaska Public Media reported on Thursday (April 15).
Wasilla Republican Sen. Mike Shower said in the proposal that he wants voters to be confident that the system works and their votes count. “I’m merely trying to find a way to make it tighter and better as we move into the 21st century, primarily about how we secure our elections so that people will have faith in the results, even if they don’t like them,” Shower said.
This new proposal is in conjunction with an updated version of Senate Bill 39 that Shower introduced on Thursday. The bill would require most voters to take an extra step in order to verify their identity. He added that this multi-factor authentication would not apply to voters who are unable to comply.
Blockchain has already been deployed for voting in Russia and for a few people in Utah County, Utah, per the article. The bill also includes a provision that enables the Division of Elections to dig deeper into databases in an effort to remove ineligible people from the voting rolls.
“We’re sending ballots to people who shouldn’t be on the rolls here in Alaska,” Shower said. “So they can’t claim that we’re doing it as clean or as good as we should be. We can do it better.”
The use of blockchain for elections was proposed four years ago in the U.S. after Donald Trump claimed voter fraud in 2016. Voter fraud has been an issue raised by numerous politicians for decades. The U.S. has lacked a uniform system for voting, with details varying from state to state, county to county, and town to town.