Japanese city first to deploy online voting system based on blockchain

Blockchain VOting

Bob Coiney

September 3, 2018

The government of Tsukuba city is leading all other Japanese local governments by introducing an online voting system based on My Number recognition mechanism and blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology brings the much-required voting transparency

Tsukuba city is globally known as the emerging center of scientific research in Japan, and is now the first city to use such a system for voting purposes. The voting system enables voters to register a vote by means of a computer display proceeding with the use of “My Number” card on an electronic reader device.

On the other hand, the use of blockchain technology introduces several key advantages like prohibiting the fabrication and forging of data, greatly improving the overall transparency of the election process. Previously, this voting system has been deployed for different proposal selection mechanisms related to various social benefit schemes.

It was reported that the mayor of Tsukuba, Tatsuo Igarashi, found the system simple to use, contradicting his previous impression of the system being too complicated.

Overcoming systemic complexities

In the beginning, several complications were reported; for instance, many of the people who cast votes forgot their passwords, which were highly essential for the voting. Secondly, it was perplexing to tell if a vote was counted or not after being cast, leading to a certain degree of skepticism.

A professor from Tohoku University who is a prominent supporter of online voting, Professor Kazunori Kawamura said,

“The election boards and managerial federations are somewhat reluctant to introduce such systems in their communities due to the likelihood of technical complications. However, it is fundamental here to boost their reputation by consistently using such voting systems. Especially, expatriates should be encouraged to use them for casting their votes”

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