It has been reported that this news follows recent comments from President Donald Trump concerning the mail service’s funding as part of his fight against mail-in voting.
However, a patent filing said:
“This development relates to a voting system that also incorporates the use of cryptographic elements, such as blockchains, as are used with cryptographic currencies, to track and secure the vote by mail system.”
Mail-in voting has surfaced as a point of contention among members of the country’s political parties.
A CNBC article said that Trump opposes the movement, and has suggested withholding further USPS funding as a preventative measure.
The #USPS just filed a patent for #blockchain-based mail-in voting, @benjaminpirus reports. https://t.co/hTK38euyJd — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) August 14, 2020
Though mail-in voting allegedly opens the door for potential voter fraud, voters seek ease of access when recording their political preference in a multi-faceted battle.
This has been made more complicated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The patent detailed:
“In some embodiments, a blockchain allows the tracking of the various types of necessary data in a way that is secure and allows others to easily confirm that data has not been altered.”
The patent also added:
“A voting system can use the security of blockchain and the mail to provide a reliable voting system. A registered voter receives a computer-readable code in the mail and confirms identity and confirms correct ballot information in an election. The system separates voter identification and votes to ensure vote anonymity, and stores votes on a distributed ledger in a blockchain.”
As per the report, the patent is 47 pages long and contains a myriad of diagrams detailing how the blockchain-based mail-in voting system would work theoretically.
Also, the patent laid out voting operations based on a blockchain, complete with ballot codes, electronic signatures, and other intricate points, working in tandem with two databases. It also included various other frameworks and concepts around its central idea of blockchain-based voting.
Thus, the postal service’s patent is not its first dive into blockchain, as the USPS submitted a concept in 2018 which harnessed blockchain for identity authentication.