In the United States voter turnout is low (problem: lack of accessibility), and there is a severe security threat of foreign adversaries tampering with election systems (problem: lack of security).
In many jurisdictions, votes are tallied by “black box” machinery (problem: lack of transparency) and the tallied vote counts may only be questioned and audited when counts for candidates are close, or widely deviate from polls (problem: lack of verifiability).
In the midst of the “blockchain” hype, many blockchain advocates point to “voting on the blockchain” as a way to increase voter turnout and the integrity of the U.S. election system. At least one presidential candidate has even made it part of their platform.
Yet “voting on the blockchain” is underspecified – what does it mean? How would it work? Would it actually solve problems, and would it introduce new ones?
Many security experts are skeptical of e-voting, and for good reason. If people can vote remotely, is the secrecy of their vote lost? Vote secrecy is one of the mechanisms that prevents votes from being coerced or purchased.
continued in my google doc with the project proposal. Comments invited!