Election integrity is front and center in the United States, and across the globe, as a result of last week’s presidential election and the tension that delayed results have caused in a national electorate that is desperate for certainty. Although a vocal minority is still questioning the veracity of some portions of the election process, much of the election has seemed extremely reliable.
No one is questioning, for example, the idea that the numbers that the Associated Press has reported are the same as the numbers that were relayed to them by counties across the country. And there is a great reason for that.
Let’s set aside the fact that the Associated Press has been counting the vote in U.S. elections since 1848 and dig a little deeper into the actual process of collecting, distributing, and verifying this information.
This year things were done a little different, with AP partnering with Everipedia to utilize the blockchain for additional publishing functionality for election race calls. The partnership was announced back in October and the announcement noted that:
“Everipedia will be offering AP’s race calls in a trusted and transparent manner through the use of oracles. AP will sign the data cryptographically and publish its cryptographic key through Everipedia’s official channels.”
(If the concept of blockchain oracles is foreign to you make sure to check out Patrick Collins’ great article on the topic.)
Although it is likely that the majority of news outlets that reported the results via API utilized their Election API it would be unwise to underestimate the potential value of publishing this data in tandem on blockchain. In a political environment that is so polarized, it is critical that every link in the chain is beyond reproach. AP’s addition of blockchain integration in 2020 shows clearly that they understand this.