The latest developments in Sierra Leone’s first ever blockchain-based presidential election took a retracting step as the National Electoral Commission head claims that no blockchain technology has been used in the Sierra Leone election.
A twist in Sierra Leone’s blockchain-based election 2018
A few days back, the West African Country Sierra Leone conducted its presidential elections by utilizing blockchain technology. However, the National Electoral Commission of the country now denies the use of blockchain while condemning the news of the country having the first ever elections that were recorded on the blockchain.
The head of the NEC, Mohamed Conteh said that:
“The NEC [National Electoral Commission] has not used and is not using blockchain technology in any part of the electoral process.”
While Agora, the blockchain voting company claimed to run the first elections based on the blockchain. Apparently, the company didn’t just observe the process and store the voting results but was more involved in the process.
According to the Leonardo Gammar of Agora:
“Anonymized votes/ballots are being recorded on Agora’s blockchain, which will be publicly available for any interested party to review, count and validate. This is the first time a government election is using blockchain technology.”
Sierra Leone election: Confusion and disappointment
The reactions pertaining to the use of blockchain were mixed in Africa.
Morris Marah, the founder of Sensi innovation hub, said:
“Their involvement in all of the result tallying was very limited. It would be like me showing up to the UK election with my computer and saying, let me enter your counting room, let me plug-in and count your results.”
Moreover, an analysis of both the statistics done by RFI revealed that “Agora’s results for the two districts they tallied differed considerably from the official results.”
There is no clarity on the fact, though it does seem clear that the controversial election space of Africa has become even more complicated. Given the fact that Agora’s token sale is coming, it is yet to be known if Agora was pulling a marketing stunt.
This situation certainly leaves us all disappointing in what could have been a transformational use of blockchain technology in Sierra Leone elections.
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