Sierra Leone will choose their Government using Blockchain
Can you imagine choosing your Country’s President using Blockchain Technology? Yes, in first of its kind the African nation ‘Sierra Leone’ has made it possible. Behind the scenes of this week’s presidential election of Sierra Leone a bigger milestone was achieved. As the voters in the nation’s most populous western district were casting their votes for choosing its president among the 16 contestants, Swiss based Blockchain voting startup ‘Agora’ was helping them keep track of it through its proprietary distributed ledger.
What was done?
In an apparent first, Sierra Leon’s National Election Committee (NEC) accredited Agora to deploy a private permission Blockchain to oversee the results of the national elections in real time. After the voting concluded, around 400,000 ballots were manually inputted into Agora’s Blockchain system by a team of 280 accredited observers working from different locations. The data was then relayed to individuals entrusted to oversee and verify the nation’s democratic process.
Why Blockchain for elections?
This presidential election was fourth since the end of civil war in 2002 which killed more than 50,000 nationals. Although post civil war elections have been largely peaceful but there were many violent incidents many weeks ahead of the elections. There were doubts on the integrity of the leading All People’s Congress (APC) party, when the nation’s Accountant General found a reported $5.7 million in aid money went missing leading to accusations of fraud and corruption. Facing such serious concerns, National authorities deployed military and the police in the streets to ensure the reliability of the elections. Additionally, to create an extra layer of transparency authorities decided to use blockchain technology.
While Agora’s CEO ‘Leonardo Gammar’ was on-location to help manage the operations, he wrote in a Telegram group chat that the team was “proud to announce that our results in the western district are 2 hours ahead of the National Election Commission and all NGOs, with 86% tallied.” He further said that the future implementations could be even further decentralized by logging some data on the Bitcoin Blockchain.