Neuilly-sur-Seine tries out electronic blockchain voting

Blockchain voting has been a hot topic lately. Some see it as a secure way to modernize the way we vote. The Town Hall of Neuilly-sur-Seine is one of the enthusiasts and has just launched a blockchain voting platform with big ambitions.

Since the regional and departmental elections of June 20 and 27, Internet voting is on everyone’s lips. With an abstention of around 65% during the two rounds of the ballot, many see in this solution a practical way of re-involving the population, especially young and connected, in the democratic exercise. Seizing the opportunity, the town hall of Neuilly-Sur-Seine announced that it had launched “ for the first time in France »An online voting platform using blockchain and entirely dedicated to the issues of a municipality.

The tool is not yet intended to replace the paper vote of local or national polls, here it is no longer a question of using voting via blockchain to pronounce ” on daily projects (cultural programs, public works, etc.) “. In short, choose a film to broadcast or a sidewalk to develop rather than a leader – like the participatory budgets present in many cities in France. The system was developed in collaboration with the French association Electis, which is building a blockchain voting system already adopted by several universities around the world. The founders of Electis had also published a column last year which called for electronic voting ” a democratic priority “.

The system code will be ” fully open source »According to the town hall of Neuilly-sur-Seine. It will also be ” reusable as such and duty free by any other municipality », Specifies the press release.

Blockchain voting, a subject of debate

Electronic blockchain voting is on the rise because of its supposed inviolability which would ensure ” maximum ballot security »According to the town hall of Neuilly-sur-Seine. The blockchain register being decentralized, it is indeed very complex to compromise it. But the solution also attracts critics such as some researchers at MIT who are still worried about the possible security problems of such a tool.

The blockchain is reputed to be inviolable with its decentralized operation // Source: Tumisu – Pixabay

Blockchain voting experiments had in fact already taken place in Yvelines at the end of 2020. Here too, there was a question of local issues such as the deviation of a departmental road. But the plans of the town hall of Neuilly seem to go far beyond the small problems of everyday life.

Jean-Christophe Fromantin, the town hall of Neuilly-sur-Seine explains in a press release that “ in the long term, for local and national elections, this simpler, faster and more accessible solution must be able to replace the traditional voting system “. According to him a way of ” develop tools “With a”broken democratic machine “. Some will see it as a call to demonstrate that these new tools are also technically breakable.

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