Blockchain-based Election System –Counos platform
Blockchain network is based on a transparent, tamper-proof infrastructure. This infrastructure has no central authority, so many general activities can be controlled and organized by that.
As we see in today's world, elections play a significant role in making many fundamental decisions. But, the election mechanisms have been always questioned in societies. Many believe that the process is not as transparent and democratic as it should be. In recent years, with the advent of Blockchain technology, many different ways have been proposed to implement it in election systems.
Now, what is a fair and transparent election?
A transparent election must be held freely, concerning options to choose from and the freedom of choice. Everyone eligible for voting should be able to participate, voters' votes should remain anonymous, the voting and counting process has to be transparent, the results should be unalterable, and they must be as fast as possible with high precision. Some of these criteria are related to the organization of the election, and some to the voting and counting mechanisms.
So, how can a Blockchain-based election system be helpful?
First of all, you need to know that there is nothing a Blockchain-based election system can do with the criteria that are related to organizing the election. But the ones that are related to the voting and counting process can be improved by Blockchain technology. Let us have a simple explanation of a Blockchain-based election process.
- Using a Blockchain-based system, we can make an election as a smart contract. In this contract, candidates can be identified with a unique address. Votes will be provided to voters in the form of a certain source. For example, this source can be a certain number of coins.
- Voters can cast their vote by transferring their balance to the account of their chosen candidate by scanning their address.
- This transfer will be recorded in the Blockchain and will be counted after a certain number of block confirmations.
- When the voting process ends, the accounts whose balance comes from the predefined source specified in the smart contract will determine the chosen candidate or option.
Now, what benefits this structure would offer?
*Transparency: All the votes are real-time and transparent. So everyone can look at their transactions in their chosen candidate's account to see their votes.
*Confidentiality: Even though the process is transparent, it doesn't mean that it will reveal the person who has voted for a candidate to everyone.
*Quick results: Results are real-time, and it does not require separate operations to see the results.
*Unalterable process: The structure of Blockchain does not allow changes to be made easily. Any modification will nullify the entire chain.
But can a Blockchain network be used to launch an election system?
The answer is yes, but there are more challenges that must be considered and solved before using a Blockchain-based election system.
- For instance, voters' demographics is one of the challenges ahead. Most of the Blockchain networks have a limited capacity in each block for processing transactions, and most of the available space is already filled with ordinary transactions, so it would not be possible to use networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- Given the size of the voting community, the network should have the capacity to process a few million transactions in a day. In other words, to receive 10 million votes, 278 transactions should be recorded per second. If we want to prepare the system for the vote peak influx, it should be ready to cover about 1000 transactions each second. And this volume of transactions is not compatible with the power of most Blockchain networks available right now.
- Public Blockchain networks do not guarantee to record the completed transaction in the first available block. Given the network's traffic, the transaction fee, and perhaps other parameters, the time of recording a transaction in a block can vary. This is considered a challenge for an operation that needs to be completed in a limited time.
- As mentioned before, organizing an election will include determining candidates, verifying the identity of voters, preventing duplicate votes, and preventing fake voters. The proposed method does not provide viable solutions for these challenges. Therefore, current conventional structures need to authenticate these matters.
- The 51-percent attacks that can be as a result of enforced power on the network can be very destructive. Since elections are a very crucial process for all countries, then the probability of such attacks from authorities would rise.
Counos' Proposed System
Counos offers some reliable options to resolve the challenges mentioned above.
- First, to provide the capability to process a large volume of transactions for election systems, the Counos Blockchain network is undergoing certain modifications to be able to process at least 4000 transactions per second.
- Also, to reduce the possibility of occurring a 51-percent attack, all the active mining pools in the Counos network should meet specific criteria to be able to mine blocks (including the minimum amount of credit as specified in the system's rules). All the network difficulties are handled by using a particular formula. Additionally, since any rule modifications are not allowed, unknown pools cannot exist. The details of the created blocks in each pool are transparent, and everyone can review them.
- Each voting center gives a new and exclusive address along with a certain balance of CCXX coins to the voters so that they will be able to vote. The totality of these balances comes from a specific source, known as the Markle Root, which is constant for all the election transactions. This balance is constantly sent to an exclusive address to each voting center. In any election system, each voter needs to have an ID. This ID can derive from the national ID number or any other criterion, such as a biological criterion. When the voting right is transacted, an ID will be registered as a separate transaction in the Blockchain. It is actually a message. In this way, it can be fully transparent. The election organizers outside the Blockchain network will then authenticate the ID registration validity. Based on the number of registered IDs in certain periods, the balance of the voting center's wallet will be recharged.
- There are specific voting wallets that enable transferring votes. By votes, we mean a certain balance in the exclusive address. Transaction ID and raw transaction are represented in the form of a QR code. This QR code can be recorded. In this way, any voter can make sure of how voting takes place.
- Mining pools in the CCXX network are adjusted in a way that they cannot play a role in registering transactions in blocks. Thus, all the valid receiving transactions will be recorded in the first block available.
- As soon as the voting process finishes, the balance of voting centers and the main center will become non-transferable. Although, a certain period will be in place by the chosen candidate's account to guarantee all the transactions are fully received.
- This system will have a particular block explorer so that all the valid votes can be shown in it. The votes that are cast outside the defined period or come from unauthorized sources will not be counted as part of the final balance, and in the end, the valid results will be announced.
Parts of the System
- Election observers can monitor the mining pools and make sure of the accuracy and validity of the election. These pools need to have the features of the CCXX Blockchain network to be able to mine blocks.
- Before the beginning of the election in one transaction, defining the Merkel Root for the election and transferring the maximum balance is allowed.
- Defining all the candidates and creating distinct addresses for each.
- Defining voting centers and creating distinct addresses for them.
- A system for transferring votes to the exclusive wallet of voters and registering the voter ID in the network through a separate transaction. At the same time, it is guaranteed that a duplicate wallet is not issued for the same voter ID.
- An exclusive explorer that specifies the candidates' balance. Also, the voting center and allowed period are defined for each transaction. If the transaction is recognized to be invalid, it will be listed separately and traceable.
- The polling system is an exclusive wallet. The voter can transfer his or her balance to the account of the chosen candidate and cast their vote. They also receive proof of vote in the form of a transaction ID.