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Blockchain-based Polys introduces new voting methods and usability improvements

Polys, a blockchain-based voting platform from the Kaspersky Innovation Hub, has been enhanced with new voting methods to support common customer requests. 

The platform has also been updated with new features for organizers that make election administration and orchestration easier. 

Over the past year, various aspects of people’s lives have moved online, including making joint decisions. That has led to the number of sessions on Polys increasing threefold in this period. 

The immutable and decentralized nature of blockchain makes it a perfect technology for e-voting in conditions and industries with high-security requirements. And with the growing popularity of blockchain-backed elections, the need for new voting methods appeared.   

To support those changing scenarios most required by customers, Polys has added the following types of voting available out-of-the-box:

‘For, Against, Abstain’ voting

In this new form of election, organizers can create polls on different matters within one session, using a single ballot. It saves time for elections happening at meetings (such as annual general meetings, board meetings, or academic councils) held by businesses, NGOs and education entities.

Open ballot voting

In addition to secret voting enabled with strong anonymization and encryption algorithms, customers can arrange elections where participants cast their votes openly. Such roll-call voting is a must in some situations; for example, giving scientific degrees which are often based on such elections.

To make voting orchestration and management easier, the following features were introduced:

Simplified billing and licensing

Votes for up to 5,000 participants can now be organized and purchased without interaction with the Polys team, speeding up the accounts process. The new licensing mechanism is also implemented in the form of a smart contract: upon activation of the license, all parameters are recorded in the blockchain. In addition to standard packages, it is possible to form a special license on customer request, if the current options don’t meet their requirements.

Tracking opened ballots

With this update, a vote organizer can track who has opened the link from an email or SMS message to receive the ballot. The list of these participants is displayed in a dedicated table in the Organiser Panel at the ‘voting is under way’ stage. To ensure voter anonymity and avoid manipulation, it is still impossible to see who exactly cast a vote.

Tools to edit lists of voters

At the ‘Creation’ stage, the uploaded voter list can be viewed and edited directly in the interface of the voting system.

Archive old sessions

All completed polls can now be archived and displayed in a special area of the Organiser Panel. As Polys runs on a blockchain, nothing can be deleted from the system. Previously, all current and past voting sessions were in one list, but if an organizer arranged numerous elections, it was hard to determine which were still running.

Alexander Sazonov, head of Polys, said: “We review all suggestions from our clients and aim to quickly implement the most requested features. For example, as more joint decision making, which previously happened in person, moves online, standard voting ballots do not always take into account all the specifics of such an election. 

“We observed that some of our customers tended to create a series of voting sessions, all happening at the same time. We have updated our platform with these new voting methods and features, so our clients do not have to choose between security and convenience.”

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