Maine Lawmakers Kill Blockchain Voting Study Proposal

A legislative proposal to study the use of blockchain technology for elections in Maine has failed, public records show.

Apr 14, 2017 at 1:28 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:14 p.m. UTC

A legislative proposal to study the use of blockchain technology for elections in Maine has failed, public records show.

As reported last month by CoinDesk, Senator Eric Brakey introduced a proposal to create a commission to study whether the tech could be applied to the state’s elections process.

According to the text of the proposal, the commission would have explored blockchain to see if it could "support and enhance Maine's current paper ballot election system for the purpose of improving paper ballot security, increasing election transparency and reducing costs". If passed, the measure would have led to the development of a report on the subject, to be delivered by early December.

Yet as shown in public records, a senate committee elected to place the measure in Maine's legislative archives, essentially scuttling it for the foreseeable future. A legislative aide confirmed the move when asked for comment by CoinDesk.

Despite the failure, the concept of blockchain-based voting has been explored elsewhere.

Notably, a South Korean community government utilized the tech in a local funding ballot that saw roughly 9,000 votes submitted. South Korean-based blockchain startup Blocko contributed the technology for that initiative.

Maine State Capitol image via Shutterstock

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