xGov 180: Research on Algorand Voting Technologies

Abstract

With 2024 being an election year in the United States, voting security has never been a hotter or more important topic. Algorand has unique features that have allowed several voting technologies to be invented, which provide an order of magnitude improvement over traditional voting machines and paper ballots. This research seeks to explain the basis for these different voting technologies and explore potential avenues for scalable adoption of Algorand in election voting. This is important because voting is a real use case, where Algorand provides a huge advantage in cost, performance, and efficiency to legacy systems.

xGov 180: Research on Algorand Voting Technologies

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Could be an interesting thought piece. Just some questions:

  • How do you already know it will cover at least 75 sources? Assuming those are papers and vetted articles, I’d rather go for quality over quantity. Would be a shame if you start gathering a lot of low-value sources just to get to that number. Maybe 50 is already enough or maybe 100. Your research will find out along the way?

  • Perhaps also include some technical parts into it how it actually could be achieved (through smart contracts with a small MVP using puya?).

  • What’s the open source database that you like to publish the article in?

I’m not an American (west-europe here). But I’d consider this more of a thought piece of what blockchain [Algorand] could do to fortify the public voting system and preventing fraud while keeping it accessible and open. So more or less hypothetical speaking, as in reality I’d give it a very low chance that it will happen in the next two decades. Mainly as currently 70 out of 100 Americans (according to Reuters) vote through hand ballots [Machine Politics: How America casts and counts its votes]. In my country it’s even 100 out of 100, and they are mostly processed manually (yes, crazy).

The last decades many governments have tried using some sort of device to make it easier to vote (and count). However, many have reverted that practice and went back to paper voting as it was deemed less prone to fraud. Sad to read as a techie, as I’m with you that I think voting can be done much better, more secure and more easier using tech.

Perhaps US or any developed country is also not a good start for it either (stakes way too high), but potentially other countries that would be more susceptible and open for it. Could be a nice impact piece if you’d find that country and potentially do the research on that and publish.

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Thank you very much for the feedback.

  1. I selected 75 as an objective metric for the milestone. The reason is because I think it helps to support the integrity and quality of the work. I think you’re right, so I amend the proposal to say 75 academic, professional, peer reviewed, or patent publications.

  2. Yes. I think this is a good idea for the substance of the article. I am also open to including code for an MVP.

  3. One example would be SSRN, which is a large open source database I have published in previously.

I think your advice for practical implementation is really great and spot on. It’s amazing how many people still use hand or paper ballots. Focusing on how Algorand can fortify public voting systems and prevent fraud will be a main focus.

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Yep - but probably also worth it to include why so many countries / US are still being stuck with paper voting. It’s not necessarily a tech issue, more a trust issue in the tech systems (just my assumption). So can blockchain [Algorand] overcome that particular part of trust (to prevent fraud fully) and what needs to change to get there.

Either way, would be an interesting thought piece.

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Great points. Thank you very much.

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