Taking Decentralized Voting to the NEXT level

Table of Contents

Vision

Spinning up ultra-secure, anonymous and decentralized voting solutions, for

  • Governments
  • Enterprises and Corporates
  • Governance Protocols (in Ethereum and other blockchains)
  • Providing Customized Voting Solutions,

while exploring/exploiting the synergies produced during the process.

Problems To Solve / Inspiration

  1. Increasing the average voter turnout in Elections around the world, by bringing the end-to-end voting process, online, in a secure manner
  2. Removing trust issues in Country election campaigns all over the world.
  3. Speeding up the State-Of-The-Art voting processes in the 3 domains mentioned in the 'Vision' above.
  4. Reducing overall costs incurred by Governments in conducting their elections.

Project Structure

The project has 4 core Modules, which would implement Secure, Anonymous, Transparent (SAT from here on) Voting solutions for the following:

  • Module 1: Governments
    • 13 types of Electoral Systems
  • Module 2: Enterprises and Corporates
  • Module 3: Governance Protocols (in Ethereum and other blockchains)
  • Module 4: Customized Needs of Clients

Key Features

  1. Current implementation includes a secure, anaonymous and transparent implementation of the First-Past-The-Post type Elections, which is one type out of a total of 13 concrete types of Electoral systems.
  2. Providing full-fledged voting solutions, and SATaaS (Security, Anonymity and Transparency as a Service) to existing voting solutions in the 3 domains mentioned in the 'Vision' above.
  3. A Plug-and-Play SDK to allow developers and other organizations to create Secure, Anonymous, Transparent (SAT from here on) and customized voting solutions, in accordance with their needs.
  4. The Cryptographic Magic

The Cryptographic Magic

No rocket science here. We're using simple hashing and encryption techniques, but in a smart way, to achieve anonymity and security, even on the blockchain, when options like zero-knowledge proofs and bullet-proofs are available. This is to achieve gas and performance optimization. Because more often than not, it is easy to make things complicated, but difficult to keep things simple.
Have a look at these slides to experience the feel of it.

Impact Points

  1. Increased accessibility to Voters, leading to a larger voter turnout, eventually, if not immediately.
  2. Immense business value for Torus (our Auth Partner), even at a very low global acceptance rate of the project.
  3. International Voting Interoperability, as a consequence of multiple Countries' and Orgs' voting implementations on a single platform (think International and Inter-Continental voting, for making global decisions, based on decentralized Global Identities, powered by Torus)
  4. Birth of International Voting Standards for fair, secure and anonymous voting, which would act as the next Status Quo, as far as voting is concerned.
  5. Even a success rate of 5% of this project, would be a major boost to Blockchain adoption to the masses.

Collaboration

CosmoVoting uses Torus for a seamless authentication experience for its users, for the following reasons:

  1. One of the easiest ones to integrate with.
  2. Generates a wallet for every gmail account, which acted as a sweet bridge for us, between OAuth 2.0 and Web 3.0 wallets like MetaMask.
  3. Torus would help us in orders of magnitudes, in exploring decentralized Global Identites for International and Inter-Continental Voting, for purposes meant to impact the world as a whole (think Framing international policies to tackle Climate Change, and the likes)

Tech Stack

  1. Solidity (for smart contracts on Ethereum blockchain)
  2. Truffle Framework (to speed up blockchain development)
  3. web3.js (blockchain interaction)
  4. Torus (auth and wallet)
  5. Django (server)
  6. Angular (front-end)

Local Setup

  1. Clone the repo using https://github.com/smitrajput/CosmoVoting.git and cd into it
  2. To start the ganache instance, type ganache-cli --port 8546
  3. Start a ganache proxy server using: ganache-http-proxy
  4. Fire a new terminal in the same folder type cd Dapp, follwed by npm i, and then truffle migrate to deploy the contracts to the local ganache instance
  5. Now, type cd .. and create a python3 virtual environment using python3 -m venv ./venvs/django OR virtualenv -p python3 ./venvs/django/bin/
  6. In the same terminal, start the virtual environment using source ./venvs/django/bin/activate
  7. After making sure pip, python, django are installed in the virtual environment too, type cd django && pip3 install -r requirements.txt
  8. [In case it doesn't get installed automatically], pip install wheel
  9. To start the Django server, cd vote, followed by python manage.py runserver OR python3 manage.py runserver
  10. Now, fire up a new terminal, cd into 'Dapp' directory and type in npm start to start the Voting DApp.

Learnings

  1. Replacing MetaMask with Torus as the wallet to interact with the Ethereum blockchain.
  2. Using simple hashing and encryption to achieve anonymity and security, even on the blockchain, when options like zero-knowledge proofs and bullet-proofs are available.
  3. Different types of electoral systems, via which elections take place at various levels in multiple countries.

Challenges Faced

  1. Adjusting the code among the different life cycles in Angular, to manage and execute successful transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, i.e. initiate web3Service => create contract instances => make contract calls.
  2. Using a single web3Service that is injected at the app-root to share the fetched web3 accounts and contract instances, with all other components.
  3. Simulating the First-Past-The-Post Electoral Systems, while ensuring anonymity, security and transparency.
  4. Figuring out Torus RPC errors

Next Steps

  1. Creating a clean and sleek UI/UX for the current implementation of the First-Past-The-Post type Elections.
  2. Implementing SAT elections for the remaining 12 types of Electoral systems.
  3. Inculcating Advanced Security implementations via GPIPs (Global Project Improvement Proposals)

Team

Smit Rajput
Akash Kumar
Tezan Sahu

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