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Laboratory: Blockchain-based Electronic Voting System

Have you ever thought about seeing a common problem solved with a technology solution? The laboratory allows the analysis of a problem from a technical point of view to be analyzed and solved by a team of specialists. This is the first edition of the laboratory on electronic voting machines based on Blockchain from the point of view of Inova e-Business.

Laboratory: Blockchain-based Electronic Voting System

1. Introduction

Democratizing access to technology and the emergence of new decentralized platforms is driving the development of innovative solutions to age-old problems. One such aspect of our life that stands to gain from these advances is the electoral process. In particular, blockchain technology - originally conceived as the foundation for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency - holds attributes that make it an excellent choice for enhancing the integrity, security, and efficiency of electoral processes. This paper outlines a blockchain-based electoral voting system architecture.

2. System Architecture

A. Public Blockchain

Our proposal leans on the usage of a public blockchain - Ethereum, specifically. A public blockchain is a decentralized network that allows anyone to participate and validate transactions. In our case, every vote cast will be a transaction on this blockchain, with the voter's identity and vote choice protected through advanced public-key cryptography. With this approach, every vote can be traced back to the voter who cast it, without revealing the voter's identity, enhancing the security and integrity of the process.

B. Smart Contracts

The backbone of our system will be the implementation of Smart Contracts - self-executing scripts with the contract agreement's code directly written onto the blockchain. These contracts automate the execution of predefined business logics, in our case, the electoral process - from voter registration to vote counting. A crucial feature of smart contracts is their immutability; once posted on the blockchain, the code cannot be altered. This characteristic protects the system from tampering, ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.

C. Digital Identity System

Authenticating the voters will be a crucial part of the system. Our solution will be based on creating a digital identity for each voter, which will be linked to their public key. This digital identity will be authenticated at the time of the voter's registration into the system, through a combination of factors such as biometrics, two-factor authentication, etc. This approach will ensure the linkage of each vote to a verified voter, thus negating the possibility of double voting.

D. User Interface

The user interface will be developed using modern front-end technologies such as React or Vue.js, offering superior performance, modularity, and ease of use. The interface will provide an intuitive means for the voters to cast their votes and will communicate with the blockchain via a secure API.

3. System Flow

A. Voter Registration

The first step for any voter is to register themselves in the system. This is done by providing the necessary information for the creation of a digital identity. Upon the validation of this information, the digital identity is registered on the blockchain along with the corresponding public key. Each registered voter is given a unique private key, which will be required to cast a vote.

B. Voting

On the election day, the voter authenticates themselves in the system using their private key and is presented with the voting ballot. After the vote is cast, it is cryptographically signed using the voter's private key and sent to the blockchain as a transaction. This ensures that each voter can only vote once and that their vote is secret and unalterable once cast.

C. Vote Counting

Upon the closure of voting, the corresponding smart contract performs the vote count. Each vote is verified and counted, and the results are recorded on the blockchain. The results are immutable and transparent, meaning anyone can verify the vote count themselves by simply querying the blockchain.

4. Implementation Details

The implementation of this system will require expertise in several technologies. The Solidity programming language will be used to write the smart contracts on Ethereum. Solidity is a contract-oriented programming language for implementing smart contracts. It was created and developed by the Ethereum team, and it is the main language for application development on Ethereum.

The smart contracts will implement the electoral process logic and interact with the frontend through the use of an API. The API will be built using Node.js, which is a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript engine for easily building fast and scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, which makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.

For the construction of the frontend, the React.js library will be used to build the user interface. React.js is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It is maintained by Facebook, Instagram, and a community of individual developers and corporations.

Additionally, Web3.js will be used to integrate the frontend with the Ethereum blockchain. Web3.js is a collection of libraries that allow you to interact with a local or remote Ethereum node, using an HTTP, IPC, or WebSocket connection.

5. Security and Privacy

The proposed architecture offers security on multiple layers. Transactions on the blockchain are protected by public key cryptography, ensuring that only the owner of the private key can cast a vote. Moreover, once a vote is registered on the blockchain, it becomes immutable - it cannot be altered or deleted. Additionally, due to the decentralized nature of the blockchain, the system is highly resistant to DDoS attacks.

In terms of privacy, the identities of the voters are protected by their private keys. Although every vote can be traced back to the corresponding public key, the real identity of the voter remains hidden. Furthermore, by employing zero-knowledge cryptography techniques, it is possible to verify the legitimacy of the vote without revealing the voter's choice.

6. Conclusion

This project proposes a blockchain solution for electronic voting machines that aims to enhance the security, transparency, and efficiency of the electoral process. Through the implementation of blockchain, smart contracts, digital identity, and an intuitive user interface, we can significantly advance the way elections are conducted, engendering greater trust and participation in democracy.



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