Blockchain Can Clean Up the Election Data Mess

This article was first published on @iotex - Medium

At the time of writing, around Noon PT on November 4th, the presidential race teeters on a razor’s edge. In the maelstrom of misinformation and confusion unfolding less than 24 hours after the west coast polls closed, many are asking… why is this so difficult?

Public trust in democratic data is the central bulwark of the American system, and in the past two elections, that trust has crumbled away. Inaccurate information misleads voters about the odds of a given candidate’s victory for months prior to the election, is weaponized as a tool for voter suppression on election day, and leads to post-election hair pulling thanks to failures in vote counting and reporting.

Poll aggregator fivethirtyeight consistently called Biden a 10:1 favorite and a likely landslide victor in the months leading up to the election that is now a nail biter. Social media platforms saw voter suppression tactics like the fake announcement of last-second polling place changes and early declaration of victory to dissuade voters from casting ballots.

And in the post-election day counting frenzy, crucial swing state data reported by Edison research led to the fallacious early declaration of a Biden victory in Arizona. And reports of voter fraud by commentators on Twitter about the number of votes cast in Wisconsin exceeding those registered to vote (despite counter-evidence) led to large swaths of outrage and confusion. In a word, election data is a mess.

How can we do better? Trusted data is the bread and butter of IoTeX’s decentralized blockchain. The AP already uses blockchain along with data-oracle Chainlink for their election data API. Voter suppression tactics could be assuaged by educating voters to only trust data that has been verified by a trusted Oracle like Chainlink; data approved by a rigorous multi-party consensus mechanism before posting on a decentralized blockchain.


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@iotex - Medium

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