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Alaska would be first state to use blockchain-based voting system under proposed bill

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Sen. Mike Bathe, R-Wasilla, watches as his aide Scott Ogan offers a presentation by video on Senate Invoice 39 throughout a Senate State Affairs Committee assembly on April 15, 2021, within the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, Alaska. On Thursday, Bathe unveiled a brand new model of the invoice, which might make a collection of modifications to the state’s voting system. The opposite senators on the committee had been collaborating by videoconference. (Photograph by Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO and Alaska Public Media)

Alaska would turn into the primary state to undertake blockchain know-how statewide in its voting safety system below a proposal by Wasilla Republican Sen. Mike Bathe. 

Bathe mentioned he needs to extend voters’ confidence within the system. 

“I’m merely looking for a solution to make it tighter and higher as we transfer into the twenty first century, primarily about how we safe our elections, so that individuals will think about the outcomes, even when they don’t like them,” he mentioned.

The proposal is a part of a brand new model of Senate Bill 39 Bathe unveiled on Thursday. The invoice would require most voters to make use of an added step to confirm their identification, often known as multi-factor authentication. An instance of that is when web sites ship customers a code to their e-mail or cellular phone along with requiring their password to permit entry. Bathe mentioned voters who’re unable to adjust to this wouldn’t be required to. 

Blockchain is a type of database utilized in digital currencies like Bitcoin. Chris Miller, an worker of the software program firm Oracle, advised the Senate State Affairs Committee on March 16 that blockchain has been utilized in elections in Russia. As well as, a county in Utah has allowed a number of individuals to vote utilizing the know-how. 

One other provision of the invoice would direct the Division of Elections to make use of extra databases to examine whether or not individuals must be faraway from the voting rolls. Bathe mentioned the state hasn’t been doing sufficient. 

“We’re sending ballots to individuals who shouldn’t be on the rolls right here in Alaska,” he mentioned. “To allow them to’t declare that we’re doing it as clear or nearly as good as we must be. We will do it higher.”

He acknowledged that checking extra databases may add prices for the state. 

The invoice consists of some provisions that may enhance entry to voting, like accepting tribal IDs as a type of voter identification. And it will permit voters to repair errors that may invalidate their ballots. 

An earlier model of the invoice drew criticism for ending automated voter registration by way of the everlasting fund dividend utility. The brand new model wouldn’t try this. 

 


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