West African nation Sierra Leone has become the first country to employ blockchain technology to verify the presidential election data. This is the first time blockchain technology has been used in a governmental election and the results have just started to come in.
Agora is a Swiss-based blockchain voting technology company and it has been overseeing the project. The voting stopped last Wednesday. Around 400,000 ballots were manually entered into Agora’s blockchain system by 280 accredited observers working in different locations.
The exact number of votes for each candidate has not been revealed to the public and only the percentages are known. Agora says that it plans to make the results open to audit in a public format in the upcoming days. Agor partnered with the European Commission throughout the election and helped the Blockchain node operators coming from the Red Cross, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and the University of Fribourg.
Sierra Leone’s civil war ended in 2002 and this is the 4th presidential election after that. 16 candidates participated in the election, but it seems that another round of voting will be required as nobody got the required 55 percent of the votes required to win.
Agora claims that the blockchain voting technology has worked successfully in the election as it allowed the company to tally the votes days before the official commission. Sierra Leone government was also in favour of blockchain technology being used in order to increase the transparency of the elections.
Blockchain technology is widely accepted in Africa. Cryptocurrencies are also very popular in the African nations and if this election proves to be a success, we might see other countries follow the example of Sierra Leone into using blockchain voting technology in their own elections.