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Thailand to get new blockchain e-voting tech

According to a recent report, Thailand’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), the main body in charge of information and communication development activities, has developed a blockchain technology for e-voting.

The technology will combine e-voting in close groups and traditional voting. When 5G is adopted, all voters will be connected to the platform.

The head of the cybersecurity laboratory at NECTEC stated that he developed blockchain technology for e-voting that can be applied to national, provincial or community elections, as well as business votes such as the board of directors. He added that the goal is to reduce fraud and maintain data integrity.

However, since only the internet would be needed for the technology to work, the project is expected to reduce the need for citizens to travel to polling stations.

Instead, the technology will allow citizens to vote through an email “similar to online survey,” and get verified using their mobile camera.

This will enable the votes be calculated fast enough as data will be sent directly to an election controller, and candidates will be able to check the results electronically.

Blockchain will eliminate the need to collect votes from election points and deliver to a central location, saving labour costs and preventing fraud as data is transmitted directly from the voters to the election controller, NECTEC said.

More so, the blockchain concept for e-voting is a promising idea but implementing it would take longer period, as voter will need to have access to mobile Internet connection and identity verification, it was noted.

Another report noted the NECTEC, a statutory government organization under the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), undertakes, supports, and promotes the development of electronic, computing, telecommunication, and information technologies through research and development activities.

It also disseminates and transfers such technologies for contribution to the economic growth and social development in Thailand.

He noted that Thailand can use blockchain technology for elections, with a hybrid model that combines e-voting in close groups and traditional voting, as Thais still need time to build up digital literacy, reiterating that 5G adoption will enable every registered Thai voter to be connected.

According to the head of the lab, using blockchain in elections requires an election controller, voters and candidates. Before an election is held, the controller would be able to identify voter qualifications as well as eligibility of candidates.

Similar to online surveys carried out using a word processor included as part of a free, web-based software office suite, voters will be able to vote by email and must be verified by a mobile camera.

To implement the blockchain solution for the general election, Thai voters would be required to have “an affordable mobile Internet connection and identity verification. Therefore, the solution will be initially tested in a close environment.

For example, Thais who stay abroad can go to the Thai embassy or consulate to vote and have their identity verified with the camera. The agency is also planning to test the solution in a smaller elections at organizations like universities, provinces and committee boards.

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