Russians in Yaroslavl, Kursk to Use Blockchain in 2021 Election

Citizens in two more regions of Russia are set to be given the right to cast their votes on a blockchain-powered platform. When the country goes to the polls in next year’s parliamentary elections.

The Central Election Commission of Russia (CEC) has stated per media outlet Open Media that residents of the Kursk and Yaroslavl oblasts will be able to make use of the platform – which debuted earlier this year.

As previously reported, in a recent referendum on constitutional reform in the capital of Moscow, 1.14 million Russians used the platform to cast their votes as well as Nizhny Novgorod. The same platform was also used by an earlier citizen vote in Moscow on parking-related matters.

However, a number of issues with the platform have been reported. The system crashed shortly after launch, initially unable to handle the volume of network traffic. A voter succeeded in “spoiling” their ballot and sending a coded message on the network. And a media outlet reported that passport data were inadvertently made publicly available on a state server for all 1,14 million voters.

Blockchain to vote

Regardless, the CEC has called a successful blockchain vote. And said it intends to make system improvements ahead of a potential nationwide rollout.

The Kursk Oblast includes both the town of Kursk and the surrounding area, and has some 1.12 million residents. Meanwhile, the Yaroslavl Oblast has about 1.27 million inhabitants.

The CEC said demand for blockchain voting in both regions is already high. With up to 60 percent of residents already eligible. Citizens will need to create accounts at websites run by local government to register.

The CEC added that, by ensuring that citizens who have registered to use the blockchain platform are not allowed to change their minds and instead decide to cast their votes at a polling station. It will look to address potential voting irregularities.