French municipality accepting blockchain voting for road project

French municipality accepting blockchain voting for road project

The French commune of Verneuil-sur-Seine is using blockchain to vote in a consultation over a 50-year-old road project between three towns.

According to Verneuil-sur-Seine’s official website, the commune as well as nearby towns Vernouillet and Chapet are allowing blockchain-based votes through the Yvelinoise-based startup Avosvotes from Oct. 1–8. Residents can voice their opinions on a road bypass between the towns of Orgeval to Les Mureaux near the Seine River by voting for or against the project.

The blockchain voting app reportedly verifies residents’ identities, provides certificates stored on the Tezos blockchain as proof votes were cast through smart contracts, and allows real-time tracking as votes come in. The Verneuil-sur-Seine website states that the consultation will occur simultaneously across the three towns, with all results counted independently.

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“In Verneuil-sur-Seine, the decentralized and secure voting evidence on the blockchain resulting from French researchers at Tezos will make it possible to guarantee the sincerity of the ballot,” said Avosvotes CEO Florian Ribière. “The vote will thus be 100% secure and each voter will be able to check that their vote has been taken into account during the digital count.”

As of publishing time, residents of the commune with a population of roughly 16,000 have cast 476 votes.

Though blockchain-based voting has been touted as one solution to counter voter fraud and election hacking, rollouts have not always been successful. In Italy, blockchain voting in a 2017 election concluded with additional cost and time required to release the results. However, organizers at the Michigan Democratic Party State Nominating Convention in August reportedly deployed blockchain voting platform Voatz successfully amid COVID-19 restrictions.

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