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If You Ever Read An Article on Online Voting: Make It This One

The Blockchain Papers - #5 in a Series of Statements

Introductory note from Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, President and CEO, U.S. Vote Foundation and Overseas Vote: I've been reading voting and elections articles every day for 16 years straight. If I add up an average of 2 - 3 per day, that gets me near to 17,000 of these articles. That's why all I need to tell you about this one is that out of those approximately 17,000 articles, I profoundly enjoyed and learned from this one, written by Alex Berke, MIT Media Lab, more than any other. She has figured out a genius-level creative way to explain and convey a large chunk of what those 17K articles conveyed, but with such an imaginative and compelling approach that for the first time, I am really excited about the impact of words on a page when it comes to this subject of online voting. And in full disclosure, I was interviewed by Alex, but the depth of work, the brilliant thinking and refreshing ingenuity here are all her own. She cracked it, and you, dear reader, will love it.

Do NOT get frightened by this title - you can get this. Start in and you will be hooked!

Crypto Voting & U.S. Elections: (Science Fiction) Short Stories From Potential Futures
by Alex Berke, MIT Media Lab

These stories are from a two-part project. While this part is science fiction, the other part is about reality. Both parts are about mobile, blockchain, and cryptographically secure voting in the context of the U.S. election system. (Reality Piece: link)

These stories consider two potential futures for U.S. democracy, branching from our present. One is dystopian, the other utopian.

Mobile Voting, Lost Choices, and Plutocracy

From Crypto Voting & U.S. Elections: Short Stories From Potential Futures (Dystopia)

The year is 2040 and today is election day. Alice is on her way to where she will vote, but it’s not the polls. The polls are open, but more out of adherence to a national tradition and heritage rather than utility. Alice still hears about people going to the polls in some places, mostly to protest what has come to be, but the media always portrays those folks as “tinfoil hat wearers.” These days, almost everyone votes remotely from the devices installed within their hands. Although history may see it as a small technical change, remote voting brought about radical changes to U.S. democracy. Read the full article.

Note to the reader: after you read they dystopian version, continue to the utopian version entitled, What our Voting Systems Should Provide. Like a lot of things, these two are better together.