Youth Parliament Elections
The local government held election for the Youth Parliament through blockchain powered electronic polling. The elections were conducted with the help of online security firm Kaspersky Labs and its blockchain enabled voting platform, Polys.
The voting was held across 110 polling booths in 45 constituencies of the Saratov region that were fitted with special hardware that allowed citizens to cast their votes through their mobiles. With a 36% voter turnout, the entire process, including vote counting, took less than 7 hours.
During the voting process, participants were also asked if they were interested in having to vote through blockchain again in the future. An overwhelming 83% responded with “yes”.
With this, Kaspersky Labs has shown that blockchain enabled voting is possible and feasible. Saying many European and Asian countries are “technologically and mentally ready”, it claims a number of “politicians and political organizations in Europe” have been contacted for Polys implementation.
Kaspersky, however, painted a different picture about any efforts to promote the Polys platform in the United States. The policy may well be influenced by the recent spate between the Cold War enemies over alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections.
Russia and Blockchain
Recently, a lot of Russian sectors are taking keen interest in blockchain technology. Russian intellectual property courts have used the technology to record change of IP rights. Sberbank, one of the largest banks in the country, has also used the technology for a forex repo agreementthrough smart contracts.
From a voting point of view, although some countries are looking into integrating the technology, none has done it to a level that Saratov has achieved. Thailand’s main opposition, Democrat Party, has also usedthe decentralized technology last month for its internal, primary elections.