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Zug’s city president, Dolfi Müller,

Following Wednesday’s announcement that Geneva has shelved its evoting plans, South Korea unveiling they are trailing blockchain-based voting and the recent evote trials in West Virginia during America’s midterms, it looks like blockchain-based voting is becoming popular when it comes to municipalities making decisions about whether to use and invest in decentralised voting.

Most residents of Zug, Switzerland, approve of e-voting secured by blockchain technology as it makes voting quicker and easier than traditional ballots, according to those who participated in the country’s first ever blockchain-based e-vote last summer.

The City of Zug, Hochschule Luzern’s Blockchain Lab, and Luxoft, today released a report evaluating the results of the e-vote in Zug. The report highlights the benefits of decentralized voting, outlines the underlying architecture of the blockchain-based system and analyses the experience of residents who participated in the vote.

More than 220 people in Zug have a registered digital ID and were eligible to vote on the platform, and nearly 100 responded to the survey carried out by the City, following the blockchain-based municipal vote on June 25 and July 1.[1]

The findings reveal that most residents welcome the prospect of more blockchain-based e-votes; 79% welcome the use of e-voting in the city, with just 2% opposed to it. Moreover, 52% agree that e-voting should be introduced to make voting easier and quicker than filling out a ballot. Despite the high level of approval amongst residents, some remain sceptical about the security of e-voting.  While 21% believe blockchain technology makes electronic voting more secure, 16% have security concerns.

The voters praised each element of the voting solution built by Luxoft, from verification to the use of private keys.  Many voters noted that not enough had been done to raise awareness of the voting trial to boost participation. This is reflected in the fact that of the residents that took part, 75% already owned a digital ID and only 25% needed to acquire a digital ID to vote. Residents therefore accept that the option to vote by mail in addition to e-voting is still needed today until further progress is made.

Zug’s city president, Dolfi Müller, welcomed the feedback and commented, “It is nice to see that, despite some minor difficulties, many people in Zug are happy to live in such an innovative community and look forward to further research and development in the field of digital ID and blockchain technology.”

“It’s clear from this report that voters in Switzerland today recognize the value in using a blockchain-based e-voting system,” said Vasily Suvorov, Luxoft’s Chief Technology Officer. “While the technology that underlies this system is extremely complex, residents agreed that the platform was simple and practical to use. This is a platform that makes it easy for people to interact with blockchain on an everyday basis.”

Dr. Alex Denzler, head of Hochschule Luzern’s Blockchain Lab said: “There is still more progress to be made before we see such systems implemented globally. All the partners integral to expand the blockchain-based e-voting system continue to collaborate so it can become an established, reliable solution for voters everywhere.”

[1] There are 220 residents in Zug with digital identities. 72 took part in the vote between June 25 and July 1, and 95 responded to the city’s survey after the vote to provide feedback on e-voting secured by blockchain technology and the voting process.

by Bill Boyle
IBS Intelligence Senior Editor
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