Blockchain Employed Not To Open, But To Meddle In Moscow Elections

On Sunday, the 8th September, elections will be held to the Parliament of Moscow.

Blockchain voting will be employed as a pilot in three districts of the city. The Mayor promised to employ blockchain to ensure transparency and openness.

In reality, these blockchain based elections are even more closed to independent observers then the traditional elections.

Usually, the independent observers may access ballots and re-count them. They will be deprived of this possibility at the blockchain based elections.

Originally, developers of the blockchain based software had envisaged three control mechanisms in the process of counting votes, but they have all been removed:

  • Developers promised that the voters will be able to check if their votes were accounted for properly, through a dedicated online tool. However, developers did not launch this tool and did not inform public about it.
  • The Mayor promised to pubish the private key. Independent observers may have used the key to re-count the votes. However, five days before the elections, the City Electoral Autohority decided to disclose only composite numbers, not individual anonymised votes, as was originally planned.
  • The Mayor promised to open blockchain to observers. With this access, the observers would be able to see all transactions in the blockchain. However, now the Mayor refuses to open up all blockchain, instead the observers will be able see only some blocks at the discretion of the Mayor’s Office.

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