U.S. Postal Service Tested Blockchain Voting And Canned It

None of the federal bodies knew about the USPS experiment.

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USPS Blockchain voting
Image: Unsplash

A recent Washington Post report says that the United States Postal Service secretly tested a blockchain-based mobile voting system. USPS tested this system in a mock election at the University of Colorado.

But after testing at the university, the U.S. Postal Service canned its blockchain voting system for being prone to hacks. For the uninitiated, Blockchain is an industry-leading technology applied across professions.

It is mostly used for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin but is used to securely store and share information. Blockchain’s speedy and decentralized structure makes it well suited for many purposes. However, the USPS blockchain voting system was canned because it could’ve been compromised.

USPS Blockchain Voting

The Postal Service’s move is under fire because no federal agencies knew about the testing. Meanwhile, the USPS defended itself, saying that the body was testing the technology. The FBI and CISA also did a risk management study about the use of mobile voting technology. The study also found numerous risks in the process.

However, USPS blockchain voting was called out for causing “more problems than it solves” by one of the researchers from the University. It isn’t the canning that has raised eyebrows, but this lack of transparency.

The USPS made some seriously poor calls during the Trump era. This includes the slowdown of mail-in ballots right before the election peaked. Unsurprisingly, the then Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, was blamed for the slowdown. DeJoy is currently under an FBI probe for past political fundraising. However, the blockchain study predates DeJoy’s appointment.

Agencies also prefer traditional mail-in ballots as it leaves a paper trail for auditors to follow. The paper trails are one of the strongest proofs that refute voter fraud claims by the Trump administration. The USPS blockchain voting tests are being criticized for not being transparent.

USPS even got the University of Colorado researchers to sign an NDA to keep its name in the clear. However, the study resulted in the canning of the program and might not see the light of day for the coming years.

Manik Berry

Manik Berry

With a Master’s degree in journalism, Manik writes about big tech and has a keen eye for political-tech news. In his free time, he’s browsing the Kindle store for new stuff read. Manik also adores his motorcycle and is looking for new routes on weekends. He likes tea and cat memes. You can reach him at [email protected]
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