South Australia Joins Regions Leveraging Blockchain Technology for Elections
By Landon Manning
The government of South Australia, one of Australia’s six states, is going to conduct an upcoming election using blockchain technology.
Local news sources confirmed that the Australian blockchain company Horizon State was “contracted by the South Australia Government to provide the technology and support for the blockchain-based election.”
Horizon State’s CEO Nimo Namaani called the move “an exciting first government use of our tech in Australia, and a great way to validate the blockchain use for this purpose.” He claimed, “The South Australian government is very forward thinking and we are honoured they chose us to provide the technology.”
Multiple nations worldwide have already begun experimenting with blockchain-based voting technology. Last November, for example, a major political party in Thailand used distributed ledger technology to conduct primary elections, selecting candidates that would go on to compete in a more conventional election. Similarly, South Korea has also begun to consider how this technology would be implemented in this way.
What makes South Australia’s upcoming election noteworthy, however, is the scale on which it will be conducted. Namaani called it “a complex vote — being preferential with reserved seats, and a large cohort of candidates to choose from,” and the blockchain-based vote will be legally binding.
Multiple candidates and sitting politicians have voiced their support for this move, with South Australia’s premier Steven Marshall planning to turn the state into the “blockchain capital of the country.” He publicly claimed, “Blockchain [technology] is going to be important into the future as we manage global supply chains,” so it would make sense to get the state’s populace well-acquainted to the technology.
As more and more countries worldwide show that distributed ledgers can offer security and fraud prevention to elections at all levels without compromising voter access, the case for widespread adoption will only become more clear. Initiatives like this on the local level lay the groundwork for bold and wide-sweeping changes internationally.
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