Lausanne Tests Blockchain Voting after Successful Poll in Zug

The implementation of blockchain in public polls is in line with government plans to introduce eVoting in Swiss legislation.

Researchers from Lausanne are working on a new method for blockchain-powered digital voting after а successful similar trial in the Swiss canton of Zug.

Last week, Zug conducted a test poll where citizens answered a few questions on a blockchain-based application jointly developed by local software company Luxsoft and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences. The trial aimed to look into the potential of the technology for referendum purposes.

Voting trial results

“The premiere was a success”, Zug head of communications Dieter Mueller said as quoted by Swissinfo on Monday. He didn’t further elaborate on the trial, but the canton intends to evaluate the results over the next months.
Out of the 240 eligible citizens (those having a digital ID account called uPort), 72 took part in the virtual poll. “The number of participants could have been higher,” Mueller said. Using the blockchain smartphone application was difficult for only three of the participants.

More blockchain voting apps

In addition to the platform utilized in Zug, Lausanne’s Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) revealed another blockchain voting method, Swissinfo reported on Friday. The open-source EPFL application is set to be tamper-proof, as “anyone can verify the data and prove that the election was not rigged,” Olivier Crochat, director at the institute, claimed.

Opportunities for eVoting

The ongoing projects for blockchain based virtual elections indicate that Switzerland is looking for alternative voting solutions. Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr proposed last week that Switzerland should include eVoting as an alternative to regular votes and paper ballots. Referring to an expert report, he said there are “enough advantages” for digital elections to become an option for those cantons that allow eVoting.

A detailed proposal will be mandated later this year, and the parliament will then discuss it over the next two years.