The level of misconduct and violence during elections in Nigeria has been alarming. In many cases, the nation has recorded numerous inconclusive elections and disasters such as fire outbreaks, deaths, and loss of properties etc. As a result of continuous violence and malpractice during elections, some Nigerians have been forced to refrain from participating in voting. It is important that we consider better and safer voting systems to tackle these problems.
Blockchain-based voting system proves to be the perfect antidote. A blockchain is a decentralized and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way so that any records on it cannot be altered, without the alteration of other transactions. In simple terms: Blockchain is a distributed database existing on multiple computers at the same time and in real time. Studies show that blockchain technology has numerous advantages such as: resistance to data modification or change, transparency, security, reliability etc. which are key problems in Nigeria’s election processes.
Blockchain-based voting system has the capacity to reduce election violence and misconduct. It could also increase voter participation considering that one can vote in the comfort of their homes, without the stress of queuing or the risk of harm and danger.
Ofcourse, there are always two sides to a coin: Blockchain-based voting system has its downsides too and there are certain factors that could hinder its effectiveness, such as lack of internet coverage. The lack of widespread internet coverage can be a big issue for countries like Nigeria, and that could exclude those in rural areas from voting. However, this can be addressed by providing physical centers with blockchain devices in rural areas to allow people without internet access to also vote.
Ultimately, this voting pattern proves to be a more reliable option, and in the end, it will save the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) more money -- since they would have to set up fewer polling units and hire less staff during elections.
Article Credit: Ndianabasi Tom