The Nationwide Electoral Fee Sierra Leone has come out with a clarification to – and, an outright condemnation – of the news that theirs was one of the first elections recorded to the blockchain. Whereas the blockchain voting firm Agora claimed to have run the primary blockchain-based election, it seems that the corporate did little greater than observe the voting and retailer a number of the outcomes.
“The NEC [National Electoral Commission] has not used and isn’t utilizing blockchain expertise in any a part of the electoral course of,” mentioned NEC head Mohamed Conteh. Why he’s adamant about this reality is unclear – questions I requested went unanswered – however he and his crew have created a set of machine readable election results and posted the next clarification:
“Anonymized votes/ballots are being recorded on Agora’s blockchain, which might be publicly accessible for any celebration to assessment, depend and validate,” mentioned Agora’s Leonardo Gammar. “That is the primary time a authorities election is utilizing blockchain expertise.”
In Africa the reactions have been blended. “It might be like me exhibiting as much as the UK election with my laptop and saying, ‘let me enter your counting room, let me plug-in and depend your outcomes,’” mentioned Morris Marah to RFI.
“Agora’s outcomes for the 2 districts they tallied differed significantly from the official outcomes, based on an evaluation of the 2 units of statistics carried out by RFI,” wrote RFI’s Daniel Finnan.
Clearly the expertise is controversial, particularly in election legislation and vote-counting. Established gamers are already making an attempt mightily to keep away from fraud and corruption and Agora’s declare, regardless of how believable, additional muddies these waters. Was Agora merely trying a PR stunt in assist of its upcoming token sale. That’s unclear. What is evident is the frustration in Sierra Leone concerning their efforts.