The United States Postal Service (USPS) has filed a patent for a mail-in voting system that utilizes blockchain technology. The patent, which was filed in February and published on Thursday, follows President Donald Trump’s conclusion that mail-in voting would turn into “ballots all over the place” and fraudulent ballots possibly named “after dogs and dead people”.
The postal service’s patent application abstract states,
“A voting system can use the security of blockchain and the mail to provide a reliable voting system. A registered voter receives a computer-readable code in the mail and confirms identity and confirms correct ballot information in an election. The system separates voter identification and votes to ensure vote anonymity, and stores votes on a distributed ledger in a blockchain.”
The 47-page public patent application features 31 pages of diagrams showing the different components of the proposed voting system, including each stage of the electronic process.
“Often a voter is not able to or does not desire to go to a polling place to cast a vote. An election official in a jurisdiction may wish to send secure ballots via mail. Or, a jurisdiction may opt to utilize electronic resources for voting. In such cases, a secure voting system is desired.
The security of a voting system can be increased by using the dependability and security of the United States Postal Service or similar entity, and this can be incorporated with a secure computer system using a blockchain or distributed ledger to ensure vote security and to prevent tampering or modification of electronic voting results.”
While Covid-19 has created complications for the standard in-person election process, prompting a political debate about mail-in voting, Trump has floated the possibility of withholding funding to the USPS should they facilitate mail-in ballots in the 2020 election. In an interview on Fox Business, Trump argued that mail-in voting will lead to a fraudulent election.
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