Vote counting with blockchain trial completed

Published on 22 March 2018

Yesterday, the Dutch Intelligence and Security Services Act referendum marked a first for the Municipality of Groningen: at five polling stations, rather than counting the votes by hand, they were counted using a blockchain application. The council worked on this project with Berenschot consultants and LAB15 technology partners. The turnout could be followed in real-time and when voting closed, it was compared with the number of votes counted.

Follow turnout in real time

During the day, people from Berenschot, LAB15 and the Municipality of Groningen recorded the number of voters. After voting at the five polling stations closed at 9pm, the votes cast were counted by hand. Comparing the number of voters with the number of votes counted was done automatically. Since the number of voters had been irreversibly established in the blockchain, everyone could see that the vote-counting process was transparent and verifiable.

Transparency and reliability at elections

The Municipality of Groningen would like to use the pilot to investigate whether new technologies could increase security, transparency and reliability during elections. Using blockchain technology can prevent human error and make the voting process more transparent for every citizen. The technology does not have any impact on voting secrecy: voters remain anonymous and, as the official votes are cast on paper, they cannot be traced back to individual voters or times of voting.

Blockchain in the public sector

If you would like to know how you can use blockchain to create public added value in your municipality, or if you are curious as to how blockchain applications could improve your local authority processes, then please get in touch with us.

Rosa-May Postma_klein

Rosa-May Postma