Maine Senator Seeks Commission to Study Blockchain-Based Elections

Stan Higgins
Mar 8, 2017 at 15:03 UTC
NEWS

A new legislative proposal submitted in Maine’s Senate would create a commission dedicated to studying the use of blockchain alongside paper ballots in elections.

Dated 9th March, the proposal outlines a "Commission to Study 13 Using Blockchain Technology in Conjunction with Paper Ballots in Maine Elections", which would be comprised of nine state lawmakers, as well as representatives for the Maine Secretary of State and the Attorney General. The measure is sponsored by Senator Eric Brakey.

The proposal states that:

"...the commission shall study the potential uses for blockchain technology to support and enhance Maine's current paper ballot election system for the purpose of improving paper ballot security, increasing election transparency and reducing costs…"

The commission, if approved, will be tasked with developing a report on the subject, to be delivered no later than 7th December.

It’s a use case that has been largely pursued, in practical terms, by a number of stock exchanges worldwide for use in corporate proxy votes. Recent examples include a trial by Nasdaq in Estonia and a service launched by the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

In recent days, a South Korean provincial government tapped technology developed by blockchain startup Blocko to conduct a vote focused on community aid projects.

The use case was also the subject of an EU Parliament research report that explored blockchain-based voting, including the use of the bitcoin blockchain for this purpose.

Image via Shutterstock

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