T Skevington and M Bacina
Associated Press uses EOS and Ethereum to verify election coverage
Behind the scenes of the U.S. Presidential election, the Associated Press has been posting their official election results to the Ethereum and EOS blockchains to give anyone reviewing the Associated Press coverage of the results an independent method of verifying the accuracy of the published numbers using the underlying blockchain data.
Interestingly, the project is being run in collaboration with Wikipedia alternative Everipedia, and will see more than 7,000 state and national election race calls recorded on the Ethereum and EOS blockchains.
Despite the project being very cool, this isn’t the first time blockchain has been applied in an attempt to minimise risks of disinformation spreading. In 2019, the New York Times launched its blockchain-based News Provenance Project to tackle misinformation, using a Hyperledger-based platform to verify media sources.
Everipedia uses a Chainlink oracle to pull results data from internal Associated Press system using an API and record it on its own ledger, permanently storing what Associated Press sees as the final result.
Notwithstanding the interesting applications of the technology, the data written to the blockchain is of course only as strong as the voting process itself. Or in Everipedia co-founder and president Sam Kazemian's words:
This is one of those times where I’m super pro-blockchain but, like, it might probably be better to actually trust the centralized organization that’s professionally done this for over 100 years
Given recent claims being made by President Trump (without any evidence yet being present) that election fraud has occurred, it will be interesting to see if the blockchain records become a source of checking how results have come in in various locations.