A candidate for the post of commissioner at the Kenyan Independent Electoral and Borders Commission (IEBC) has urged the electoral authority to consider adopting blockchain technology. According to Justus Abonyo, a former functionary of the Kenyan Social Democratic Party, this will help Kenya cut the costs of “holding elections by up to 300 percent”.
As the breakdown of the costs shared by Abonyo suggests, the cost of voting will drop as low as $ 0.50 using a blockchain-based election management system. The candidate stated:
The cost of a vote in Kenya ranges from $ 7 to $ 25 (700 to 2,500 Sh). When we use blockchain technology, that cost drops to $ 0.5 (Sh50). This is an area that, as Commissioner, I would explore.
In addition to the significant reduction in running costs, a local media company, The Star, cited Abonyo as having other benefits that could be realized, including “greater security and transparency”. In addition, improved transparency could increase confidence in the electoral systems and help prevent the recurrence of violence after the 2007 elections. The violence that led to a serious humanitarian and economic crisis was triggered by allegations of election rigging.
Improved credibility with blockchain
In his comments before the selection panel to appoint IEBC commissioners, Abonyo took the opportunity to highlight his confidence in blockchain technology. Nonetheless, the would-be Commissioner suggested that he will resign if the credibility of the elections he chaired is called into question. He said:
I will listen to what observers and other stakeholders like the voters themselves say and if they agree that the election was not credible, I will resign.
However, Abonyo says he still expects any harmed party to follow due process. According to Abonyo, this means that he will only act once someone has filed a complaint with the court. He explained:
“People are brought to justice. I will not take myself to court. I will not go to court and indict myself. “
Do you agree that blockchain technology can help increase the credibility of elections? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Photo credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Stephen Butler
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