For Free People
Follow My Vote is a nonpartisan public benefit corporation founded on the 4th of July, as a tribute to the Founding Fathers of the United States. Our mission is to promote truth and freedom by empowering individuals to communicate effectively and implement non-coercive solutions to societal problems.
The Project At Hand
We are committed to creating fully transparent, end-to-end verifiable online voting and polling software to be used in everything from political elections to public opinion polling. To accomplish this, we’re utilizing blockchain technology to securely store votes in a publicly verifiable way without trusting a centralized server to record votes or tally the results.
The Public Benefit
Verifiable means that voters using our software will have the ability follow their vote into the ballot box to ensure that their vote was stored successfully and counted correctly. Furthermore, through an innovative process, we’ve developed a way to allow our users to view all of the ballots within our transparent ballot box, without revealing anyone’s identity and/or being able to tell how a specific person voted.
Since the dawn of time, polls and elections throughout the world have been plagued with accusations of illegitimacy. Our system can free the world from voter fraud by keeping polls and elections verifiably honest.
The unfortunate reality is that voting machines used in elections today are extremely vulnerable. Even when voting machines aren’t involved, the current voting process almost always involves a human element. Although we believe that humans are naturally good people, all humans are vulnerable to being corrupted. The truth is that there is evidence of dishonest elections. Election research quantitative analysts have discovered anomalies in elections even in the United states. The analyses of cumulative vote shares indicate that we do experience voter fraud and dishonest elections.
All of this is to say that, regardless of whether its a man or a machine that is distributing and collecting ballots, counting votes, or reporting vote totals, the current voting process as a whole is vulnerable to corruption, which means it cannot be trusted, and is therefore fundamentally flawed.
When adopted, our verifiable voting system will solve this problem.
Challenge Political Gridlock
In the United States, one could say that there is a two party political system. A political system dominated by just two political parties can lead to a situation where there is a constant state of back and forth that leads to political gridlock, preventing progress while leaving the people hanging in the balance.
Typically, when an election is held in the United States, either a candidate from the Republican Party or the Democratic Party has the most support, gets the most votes, and therefore wins the election.
But, the question one should ask is, “Does the Republican Party candidate or the Democratic Party candidate typically have the most support?”
Many people would argue that if a person votes for a candidate other than one of the two major parties in the United States, such as the Independent Party, the Green Party, or the Libertarian Party, they are simply wasting their vote because the third party candidate stands virtually no chance of winning the election.
With this in mind, and being that we are only allowed to vote once and are constrained to vote for at most one candidate when we vote, it may be that although most people support the third party candidate, they end up voting for the Republican or democratic candidate instead out of fear of wasting their vote. All this is to say, at the end of the day, it’s tough to say based on the way we are allowed to vote today, which is called the first-past-the-post voting model.
But, what if we were able to vote 30, 60, or even 90 days early and be allowed to change our vote in the days leading up to the polls closing on election day?
That ability, combined with the ability to see election results in real-time, may allow a third party candidate to gain traction in the days leading up to the election. Those that choose to support the third party candidate can do so without fear of wasting their vote because, if it turns out that the third party candidate doesn’t get enough votes to win the election, the voter can always change their vote to one of the candidates from the two major parties before the polls close. Under this current stigma, allowing voting to take place in this way is really the only way to truly tell which candidate has the most support and therefore be elected.
In 2016, Follow My Vote will be hosting a mock election in parallel to the 2016 United States Presidential Election. During this election, in addition to demonstrating our secure end-to-end verifiable online voting software, we will be introducing voters to new ways of voting, such as early voting, continuous polling, and real-time results.
Ultimately, if these voting options make their way into the mainstream voting process in the United States, it could challenge the two party system and mitigate the risk of political gridlock.
Focus on The Issues vs Political Parties
When people vote in elections, they often choose to subscribe to a political party and make a point to vote the party line, meaning that they vote for candidates that belong to their political party respectively. Other people may simply not know much about any of the candidates running for office, and therefore they vote for the candidates from the political party they identify with mostly. Either way, when this occurs, many voters may unknowingly vote against their own self-interest because they don’t take their time to get to know the candidates and the policies that each candidate stands for.
But, what if candidates were allowed to include profile information about themselves and where they stood on the issues directly on the ballot?
People would no longer risk voting against their own self-interest. They could review the profile information of each candidate that is running for office and vote for the candidate they support based on where they stand on the issues.
In 2016, Follow My Vote will be hosting a mock election in parallel to the 2016 United States Presidential Election. During this election, in addition to demonstrating our secure end-to-end verifiable online voting software, we will be introducing voting in a whole new light. We will include features such as candidate profiles and candidate matching to help inform voters and make sure they choose a candidate that shares their interest.
Ultimately, if these voting options make their way into the mainstream voting process in the United States, it would allow us to focus on the issues versus the political parties, which could ultimately make our government more representative of the people.
Secure Better Representation
By introducing a secure verifiable online voting solution as an option complimentary to all other voting options, people will have an opportunity to vote in an election on their own device from anywhere in the world.
Although some people may prefer to wait in line at a centralized polling location in order to cast their vote, others will prefer to save time and vote conveniently online. Those brave souls that choose to vote online will be just like the brave souls that were the first people to shop online. As Follow My Vote’s verifiable online technology proves to be secure and user-friendly, it’s highly likely that voting online will become the preferred way to vote, just as shopping online has become the preferred way to shop throughout the world today.
Improving accessibility in this way will not only make voting more convenient, but it will undoubtedly increase voter turnout, as those who didn’t vote absentee and were unable to make it to their designated centralized polling location on election day will be able to successfully cast their vote.
In 2016, Follow My Vote will be hosting a mock election in parallel to the 2016 United States Presidential Election. During this election, we will be introducing voters to the elements of our verifiable online voting software that make it a secure option and therefore a viable voting option.
Ultimately, if the online voting option made it’s way into the mainstream voting process in the United States, and as more people participate in elections by taking advantage of this option, the more representative of the people the outcomes of our elections become.
Explore New Governance Models
With more and more people voting in elections using Follow My Vote’s verifiable online voting software, we will have a much more engaged citizenry. As we all become engaged and participate in the political process, it may occur to people that it may be in the people’s best interest to begin exploring new governance models, such as Direct Democracy, Liquid Democracy, or even Self-Governance.
Calling All Developers
We Want You!
Our code is open-source and can be found in our open-source repository at github.com.
We use modern C++ to build cross-platform applications using Qt/QML for the UI layer and Linux-based server software on the backend. We use Cap’n Proto for communication between the client and server. We also work closely with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin-compatible elliptic curve cryptography.
We’re early in development, so most of the work right now is writing new code, with little or no legacy compatibility to worry about. We’re open to pulling in new libraries, frameworks, or languages; so feel free to suggest better tools whenever they may help.
We strive to preserve a maintainable, up-to-date, and readable code base. We use documentation to make the code easier to understand, but don’t use it for its own sake. We don’t dwell on stylistic minutiae like which line the curly brace goes on, preferring to save our energy for more significant architectural and maintainability issues.
Our Fearless Leader
The FMV development team is lead by none other than Nathan Hourt, the CTO at Follow My Vote. Nathan is one of the foremost blockchain technology experts in the world, having been 1 of only 2 chief architects that developed the Graphene blockchain protocol that was recently adopted by BitShares.
Nathan has a Master’s of Science Degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as well as a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Computer Science from Harding University. He has contributed to research projects in data compression, randomized algorithms, and software obfuscation and reverse engineering.
With a background in software development and a passion for security, Nathan has identified blockchain technology as his niche. He is dedicated to creating applications which empower individuals to shape a better world for themselves and others.
Follow My Vote Technology Advisors
Do You Have What It Takes?
To answer this question, we encourage you to ask yourself the following questions…
Do you yearn for
Are you a person with
Would you consider yourself
Do you have experience in any of these technologies?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, the chances are that you might be qualified to serve as a Follow My Vote Code Contributor.
What is in it for me?
Upon contributing your first line of code, you will qualify to claim your official Follow My Vote Contributor T-shirt!
By successfully contributing code to one of Follow My Vote’s open-source software projects, you will undoubtedly earn goodwill from the Karma Gods!
Developers who contribute code to Follow My Vote by resolving issues that live in our github repository will be rewarded in MERITs. If you are interested in taking on the challenge of tackling any of these issues, feel free to post a bid in the comments section of that issue to include how many MERITs you require for resolving that particular issue. Generally, one should think of 100 MERITs as representing 1 hour of time. Note that all issues in our github repository are eligible to bid on except those that have be tagged with the “No MERITs” label. As a holder of MERIT, you will help set the direction of Follow My Vote’s software development. When Follow My Vote is deciding what features to add next, or which direction to take with their products, we will run stake-weighted polls in our software to prioritize development based on market demand. These polls will be weighted in MERIT. Furthermore, as Follow My Vote software is adopted by more individuals and companies, we anticipate that demand for MERITs will rise as customers wish to influence the direction of future development. This will allow early holders to sell their MERIT profitably on the free market.
Becoming a Follow My Vote Contributor is the first step to becoming an official team member. When we expand our team, we will look to hire first from our list of contributors.
How do I apply to be a Follow My Vote Code Contributor?
Check out our GitHub repo and contact our CTO, Nathan Hourt, to discuss how best to get you involved!