The United States Postal Service or USPS recently filed a patent for an email voting system that uses blockchain and other verification technologies. In response to a Cointelegraph inquiry, United States representative for Florida’s 9th District Darren Soto expressed enthusiasm for this potential development.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Soto told Cointelegraph. “I am very pleased that Swiss Post is working on this topic,” he said. “It was a pleasant surprise for many in Congress,” added the Congresswoman, noting the need for patent filing in line with the government’s technological advances.
Currently a hotly debated topic, lAn email vote could allay voters’ social distancing concerns amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Describing the USPS blockchain patent as timely, Soto said he doesn’t know whether or not it will come into play in time for the 2020 presidential election. “Of course I could see that it will be used very soon in the next two election cycles.”said.
The blockchain mail voting system would require collaboration between USPS and other government agencies overseeing voting activitySoto said. He believes the transition would begin gradually, with the new system being applied to places where digital voting is already active, such as email for U.S. military participants in other countries.
“USPS and its technology would send QR codes and store digital IDs and votes on the blockchain,” Soto said. “You could even separate identification from votes to maintain anonymity.”
Soto also concluded that the system could allow voters to print proofs of their completed votes based on the equipment used to cast their votes: computers, etc.
Soto sits as the co-chair of the Blockchain Caucus, a government group focused on blockchain politics. The congressman had not discussed the patent with the group when he commented on Cointelegraph on Aug. 20, despite pointing to upcoming budget negotiations in the coming weeks. “As we are talking about the fundamentals of our democracy, this would be a slow and steady effort,” he added.