A new online voting system based on the My Number identification system and blockchain technology has been introduced in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Tsukuba, well known as a center for scientific research, is the first in the country to start using such a voting system, according to the city.

The system allows voters to cast ballots via a computer display after placing the My Number card on a card reader. Blockchain technology is used to prevent the voting data from being falsified or read.

Using cutting-edge technology, the voting system has been used for selecting proposals on social contribution projects.

“I had thought it would involve more complicated procedures, but I found that it’s minimal and easy,” Tsukuba Mayor Tatsuo Igarashi said after casting a vote using the system.

Some problems emerged, however, including that many voters did not remember their passwords for voting and that it was difficult to tell whether a vote has been counted.

“Due to fears of errors, administrative organizations and election boards are likely to find it difficult to introduce these (systems),” said Tohoku University Prof. Kazunori Kawamura, who is familiar with the subject of online voting.

“It’s necessary to first enhance their reputation by using it for voting by expatriates,” Kawamura said.

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