Blockchain Voting Executed in Sierra Leone

Blockchain-based enterprise Agora a few hours ago published early results of the keenly contested Sierra Leonean elections. This is the West African nation’s first election tracked using blockchain technology; it is actually the first use case of the technology for electioneering purposes on the African continent.

Voting ended on Wednesday and just a few hours after, as many as 400,000 ballot results had been manually put on blockchain. The Agora blockchain system is being coordinated by as many as 280 accredited observers working from many different locations.

The blockchain’s exact numerical results for the individual candidates is not being made known to the public as yet but the percentage poll performance of candidates are accessible by the public. Agora, a Swiss blockchain outfit says it plans to make the results auditable in a public format in the next couple of days.

This is a remarkable milestone for Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) on the African continent despite a few messy situations with the election. Even though Agora’s scope of work has been limited, it is hopeful that with time the use case for blockchain with respect to public voting will reach its full potential.

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Agora was accredited by the Sierra Leonean National Election Committee (NEC) but it did not count all ballots of the votes cast for the elections, only votes for the most populous counties were put on blockchain by the company.

Even though the NEC tally is the official one, Agora CEO Leonardo Gammar was able to give provisional final results for the Western Area. Leonardo speaking to the media said “The NEC is going to have its own results. Other observers are going to also have their own results.”

The early results by Agora show that the incumbent party’s candidate Samura Kamara of the All People’s Congress (APC) was in the lead with a 12 point opening.

There are several use cases for blockchain technology which transcends finance and cryptocurrency. Several sovereign states have started deploying the technology for various aspects of governance. In Chile for instance, they are to incorporate blockchain technology in their national power generation operations.

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