USPS files blockchain patent to secure mail-in voting

by crypto journalist

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has filed a patent application to use blockchain technology to streamline and secure mail-in voting.

The ‘Secure Voting System’ patent application, published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office last week, describes how the same technology that supports bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could be used to “track and secure the vote by mail system”.

The filing comes amid claims that Donald Trump is attempting to undermine the 2020 presidential elections by incapacitating mail-in voting.

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The US president claims that mail-in voting is at risk to widespread voter fraud and potential foreign interference – claims that have been widely debunked.

Record numbers of people are expected to vote by mail in November due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed the lives of more than 170,000 Americans.

“Voters generally wish to be able to vote for elected officials or on other issues in a manner that is convenient and secure,” the patent application states.

“Further, those holding elections wish to be able to ensure that election results have not been tampered with and that the results actually correspond to the votes that were cast. In some embodiments, a blockchain allows the tracking of the various types of necessary data in a way that is secure and allows others to easily confirms that data has not been altered.”

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Donald Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Donald Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma

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A Trump supporter sits in the upper rows of the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally. There were reports of far lower numbers attending than the president’s team had predicted

2/16

Donald Trump points to his shoe at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma during a lengthy explanation of why he walked so carefully on a ramp at West Point military academy a week earlier

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A police officer gestures during a Black Lives Matter event near the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally by Donald Trump
Trump supporters take their seats in the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally by the president. Many people in the crowd were choosing not to wear face masks despite medical recommendations during the coronavirus pandemic
Merchandise vendors wearing face masks at the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a Donald Trump rally
Trump supporter Scott Hilliard, left, argues with Black Lives Matter protester Eugene Smith near the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally by the president
A Trump supporter and a Black Lives Matter protester face off in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally by Donald Trump
A protester shouts at Donald Trump supporters outside a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Eric Trump, Donald Trump’s second son, in the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally
A woman wearing a T-shirt with the message ‘I Can’t Breathe’ is arrested after refusing to leave the area outside the rally, which she said she had a ticket for
A woman speaks to police officers during a protest against racial injustice outside a Donald Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Brad Parscale, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of the president’s first rally in three months
A protester against racial injustice is arrested outside a Donald Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma
A Trump supporter wearing a Make America Great Again cap speaking outside a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Trump supporters wait to enter a rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Donald Trump supporters and opponents clash outside the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of an election rally by the president
A Trump supporter sits in the upper rows of the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally. There were reports of far lower numbers attending than the president’s team had predicted

2/16

Donald Trump points to his shoe at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma during a lengthy explanation of why he walked so carefully on a ramp at West Point military academy a week earlier

3/16

A police officer gestures during a Black Lives Matter event near the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally by Donald Trump
Trump supporters take their seats in the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally by the president. Many people in the crowd were choosing not to wear face masks despite medical recommendations during the coronavirus pandemic
Merchandise vendors wearing face masks at the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a Donald Trump rally
Trump supporter Scott Hilliard, left, argues with Black Lives Matter protester Eugene Smith near the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally by the president
A Trump supporter and a Black Lives Matter protester face off in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally by Donald Trump
A protester shouts at Donald Trump supporters outside a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Eric Trump, Donald Trump’s second son, in the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of a campaign rally
A woman wearing a T-shirt with the message ‘I Can’t Breathe’ is arrested after refusing to leave the area outside the rally, which she said she had a ticket for
A woman speaks to police officers during a protest against racial injustice outside a Donald Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Brad Parscale, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of the president’s first rally in three months
A protester against racial injustice is arrested outside a Donald Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma
A Trump supporter wearing a Make America Great Again cap speaking outside a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Trump supporters wait to enter a rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Donald Trump supporters and opponents clash outside the BOK Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma ahead of an election rally by the president

Blockchains are essentially an online ledger that are impossible to erase or edit, as it is distributed and supported by a network of computers rather than just one.

The USPS filing envisions a number of ways that the technology could be implemented to improve the security of mail-in voting, including sending out QR codes linked to a digital voting system and storing voter IDs and votes on the blockchain.

It is not the first time blockchain technology has been touted for its ability to revolutionise the voting process. US startup Voatz has already used its blockchain-based voting system for minor elections in the US, including the 2018 general election in West Virginia.

Trump has frequently undermined mail-in voting by publicly questioning its integrity. A lawsuit filed this week accused the Republican candidate of attempting to stop postal votes for his own electoral benefit, as polls suggest more Democrats than Republicans plan to vote by mail.

The complaint describes Trump’s actions as “a loathsome tactic once associated only with tin-horn dictators and banana republics.”

It is not clear if or when the USPS plans to roll out or test the blockchain-based system. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This content was originally published here.

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