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Sierra Leone Government Denies the Role of Blockchain In Its Recent Election (techcrunch.com) 20

The National Electoral Commission Sierra Leone is denying the news that theirs was one of the first elections recorded to the blockchain. "While the blockchain voting company Agora claimed to have run the first blockchain-based election, it appears that the company did little more than observe the voting and store some of the results," reports TechCrunch. From the report: "The NEC [National Electoral Commission] has not used and is not using blockchain technology in any part of the electoral process," said NEC head Mohamed Conteh. Why he is adamant about this fact is unclear -- questions I asked went unanswered -- but he and his team have created a set of machine readable election results and posted [a] clarification. "Anonymized votes/ballots are being recorded on Agora's blockchain, which will be publicly available for any interested party to review, count and validate," said Agora's Leonardo Gammar. "This is the first time a government election is using blockchain technology." In Africa the reactions were mixed. "It would be like me showing up to the UK election with my computer and saying, 'let me enter your counting room, let me plug-in and count your results,'" said Morris Marah to RFI. "Agora's results for the two districts they tallied differed considerably from the official results, according to an analysis of the two sets of statistics carried out by RFI," wrote RFI's Daniel Finnan.
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Sierra Leone Government Denies the Role of Blockchain In Its Recent Election

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  • Anytime I see "Blockchain" I read a bit of it and usually think SCAM and I'm gone. Just my 2 cents ;)
    • Blockchain is a great technology for securing and decentralizing information. But yes it's become a buzzword of stupidity. Think of it like cloud was a decade or so ago. Yes it is a hypothetically game changing ability... but yes every idiot and their grandma is looking to throw either the technology or sometimes just the word to everything whether it is or isn't anything.
      • "Blockchain is a great technology for securing and decentralizing information." Actually, it's not since it doesn't scale and has huge energy waste built into its design. Things like Tangle/DAG look much more promising.
  • "Agora's results for the two districts they tallied differed considerably from the official results, according to an analysis of the two sets of statistics carried out by RFI," These elections all over the world are not verifiable other than by the group responsible for tallying them. Obviously blockchain results can be faked in the counting process as well but if you used an opensource verified app (signed and distributed from 3rd party) you could deliver a reliable election result.
    • No you can't, as there are a million attack vectors, both digital an physical, for someone that is willing to blatantly mess with election results. I can invent bonus voters, make people think they voted, but ultimately have their votes thrown away in a variety of ways, MITM vote handshakes manipulating voting machines... and really, people that are willing to make such election manipulation can just make sure that the opponents that can win are just not in the ballot in the first place.

      When one is afraid o

    • You want a place that barely has electricity to run the government on blockchain?

  • From the article: "Was Agora simply attempting a PR stunt in support of its upcoming token sale."

    No question mark used. Just a period. Wasn't much of a question anyway.
  • I do not know what Sierra Leone government officials are smoking. Maybe they should stop smoking weed and start to worry about Chinese takeover of their country.

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