Issues With Our Current Voting System
The 2020 election is gearing up to be one of the craziest in history. Back in 2000, in the Gore vs Bush (vs Nader) election, Gore won both the popular vote and, after a recount of the Florida ballots, it appears he would have won the electoral college, too, by any “intent of the voter” standard. However, the Supreme Court stopped the recount early, partly because it was taking too long to count by hand. Back then, Gore conceded the Presidency, although this time around things might end up differently. Sadly, the threat of a civil war cannot totally be ruled out, as both sides brace for mass riots if Trump wins or if Biden wins. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail.
At the center of the controversy this time is gerrymandering, voter suppression, and mail-in ballots. One thing that can be done on a local level is changing the ballots to support ranked-choice voting or approval voting, both of which have better statistical properties, and eliminate the spoiler effect that prevents candidates from running as a third party. With more people running, gerrymandering will be less of an issue, and voter suppression will be harder as well.
But a question remains about why “the great equalizer” – mail-in voting – is causing such a controversy. Although it’s widely claimed that mail-in voting in national elections is secure, and fraud is negligible, this was not the case in New Jersey’s recent local election. In 2016, postal workers were caught destroying absentee ballots for Trump while in 2019 Republicans were caught tampering with absentee ballots from the elderly in North Carolina.
It is no wonder, then, that various countries are exploring crypto and blockchain-based approaches to voting. Such a technology would put the power of secure elections in the hands of any organizations, not just large federal governments.
Saving Our Elections
Qbix and Intercoin were founded to help build web-based online communities, and secure them with crypto, respectively. As our investor presentation explains, once you have a social network, you can roll out a payment network on top of it. But crypto can power a lot more than secure payments; it can also power secure elections, governance, and analytics. Besides the technology, there are also social, economic and legal aspects to think about when rolling out community currencies and universal basic income. That is what we discuss in this forum.
Earlier this year, we published an article in CoinDesk about using crypto to secure our elections. For more detail, dive into this two-part exploration of the issues involved: