[Making elections convenient and transparent] Act and Couger jointly develop and operate a blockchain-based election system 

Couger Inc (headquartered in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Atsushi Ishii, CEO; hereinafter "Couger") and Act Inc (headquartered in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; Yasuhiko Kobayashi, President; hereinafter "Act") are pleased to announce the joint development and launch of the "OMEGA" blockchain election system.

The blockchain election system "OMEGA" is being developed with the goal of maintaining the principle of secret ballots through anonymization (zero-knowledge proof), while ensuring the transparency of voting results and eliminating the complexity of manual work in election administration.

The National Diet of Japan is currently discussing amendments to the Referendum Law regarding the handling of voters' personal information. The election systems developed by the two companies are compatible with the referendum and are intended to support elections as part of the social infrastructure.

Challenges of the Current Election System

  • Manual vote counting is very time-consuming and labor-intensive.
  • The manual process is prone to human error, such as the miscounting of candidates whose names are similar.
  • The inability to vote electronically has led to a decline in voter turnout, especially among the younger generations.
  • Physical constraints make it difficult for the elderly and physically challenged to vote.

Challenges of Electronic Voting

While information technology, such as electronic voting, eliminates human error and physical constraints, challenges remain.

  • Transparency and resistance to information tampering due to hacking or internal conspiracies
  • Secure personal information management

The two companies will work to provide a "transparent and convenient voting service" to the real world that is resistant to information tampering by utilizing blockchain technology while improving operational efficiency through the systematization of elections. In addition, we will design a service that separates personal information from voting information by anonymizing the information, thereby maintaining "secret elections," one of the four major principles of elections.

What to Expect from an Election System Using Blockchain Technology

By using blockchain technology, we aim to take advantage of the advantages that electronic voting brings while at the same time compensating for its disadvantages.

Advantages of using blockchain

  • Prevention of tally fraud: Voting history is difficult to falsify.
  • Anonymity: Voters' personal information and voting information are separated, and election results are certified as correct in a way that makes it difficult to identify individuals.

"Scalability" and "Processing Speed" are always cited as challenges for blockchain, and Couger will build an election system that also ensures transparency while minimizing processing information costs and maintaining speed to bring blockchain services closer to a practical level.

Aim of the Collaboration

This collaboration is intended to promote social implementation by combining Act, which has experience in the use of election systems in approximately 300 municipalities nationwide and has legal expertise, and Couger(experienced in various projects using blockchain technology in Japan and overseas) in line with the times and with new technologies.

Future challenges

Currently, part of the personal information of citizens managed by the government is provided to a third-party organization that is licensed under the condition that it is not connected to the Internet. This makes personal identification of voters and data management difficult. On the other hand, the growing momentum to utilize the My Number system, which started in 2016, has increased the possibility of meeting the above challenges.

In fact, Tsukuba City was implementing an electronic voting project in 2018 that utilizes My Number cards and blockchain. Although there are still only a few examples in Japan and around the world, Japan aims to be a pioneer and lead the social implementation of new technologies.

Act Inc.

They have experience in various system development and operation for government agencies, and provide comprehensive support from equipment sales to infrastructure construction, operation and maintenance, including support desk services. Aiming to realize a transparent, convenient, and secure society, they are working on system development utilizing AI, Blockchain, OCR, etc.

Company website: https://www.act1.co.jp/

Inquiry: omega@act1.co.jp

Couger Inc.

We develop and provide LUDENS, a technology platform that combines AI, IoT, AR/VR, and blockchain to enable human-like AI assistants. The company is engaged in a wide range of technological development, including the adoption of AI technology papers at the world's top conferences and game development achievements.

Company website: https://couger.co.jp/

Inquiry: https://couger.co.jp/contact.html

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