Reviewing the Asgardia Elections: What went right?

This is going to be the first in two-part series to critically analyse the recent elections in Asgardia. We will consider both what went right and which areas we need to improve upon. In these reports we’ll be looking at three main topic areas:

  • Security & Technology
  • Fairness
  • Community & Communications

Each of the elements above are required for a satisfactory and legitimate election. This first post will determine what worked well. The next post will pinpoint how we can refine future election processes.

Security & Technology

Elections must be secure. Safety measures need to be put in place to make sure that a legitimate election is held. In this section we’ll look at what procedures were followed to ensure the security of the election met our high standards.

Voting was conducted on our software

With the voting taking place on the asgardia.space website, we had complete comprehension and mastery of the voting software. The voting didn’t first pass through a third party, where we may have been unaware of what exploits, bugs or security flaws existed.

Deciding to conduct the election on our own platform gave us direct control over the safeguarding and voting environment, which also allowed us to respond immediately to problems that were raised during the process. We made changes in a timely manner as issues arose.

Furthermore, systems were introduced to enable citizens to report profiles they felt presented as suspicious and we could quickly investigate any such claims.

We used our own servers

Using our own servers shows we are being as independent as possible and it enabled us to ensure the security of the voting process. The server features allowed us to scrutinise votes at a granular level for authenticity.

This same technology meant we could examine the applicants to be as certain as possible they were legitimate candidates. The level of access meant we responded to evidence of ‘fraudulent’ applicants and removed them from the process.

Being in control of the data from beginning to end guaranteed that the votes weren’t tampered with or altered at any point.

Robust data was collected

As mentioned previously, throughout the election process we were collecting the necessary information to audit the voting and prove its authenticity. The server kept logs of a wide range of events – this information was then shared with civilian oversight and 3rd party examiners.

Fairness

The fairness of the election extends beyond the security concerns and looks at measures that confirm the elections were legitimate and democratic.

Creation of a Central Election Committee

A Central Election Committee was established to provide the rules and oversee the management of the elections. All the candidates were informed of what was expected of them and how to conduct an election campaign fairly.

Having the CEC in place also meant that breaches of the rules were quickly and fairly dealt with. Anyone caught cheating the process was removed from the running. The CEC were able to respond to changes in circumstances, and issue new rules and guidelines as required.

Constitutional fairness

The elections were conducted in-line with the current constitution, as voted on by citizens. Close adherence to the processes and rules was observed.

The only barrier for entry as a candidate was a minimum age of forty. Any Asgardian citizen who met this requirement could run for a position in parliament and everyone had an equal opportunity for success.

This was a really important point in the journey of our nation, as there are several mentions in our constitution to fairness and equal opportunity, irrespective of someone’s background, gender, race, or religion.

The votes were independently examined

To ensure that the votes were fair and legitimate, three independent companies were invited to review the data and the votes. They provided their insights and highlighted any discrepancies in the voting process.

An independent counting commission made up of Asgardians were given access to a set of data to verify the legitimacy of the votes to further ensure the elections were trustworthy and legitimate.

Community & Communications

Essential to a successful election is the community’s involvement. This section will examine what efforts were made to include the citizens and the level of communication through-out.

Social media

A great deal of work was done across a wide range of networks, including Facebook, email, Twitter and Instagram, to keep people informed and involved. Attention was brought to the elections, reminding citizens that the process was on-going and that they needed to cast their votes.

Candidate profiles

Each candidate had a dedicated page on asgardia.space, containing their candidate profile and details of their platform. It served as a way for the prospects to highlight their candidacy, and to connect and communicate with their supporters through the comment section of their campaign page.

Discord

A Discord voice server was set up for citizens and candidates to be able to connect and discuss important issues during the elections. The candidates could debate their platforms and socialise with citizens to get to know the community better.

Community involvement

There was a lot of discussion spanning across a magnitude of important issues, from education to religion to the prospect of creating settlements on earth. Members of the community got involved in these debates and took an active role in the democratic process.

Official communications

All decisions made or any important milestones reached during the elections were backed up by official communications from the Central Election Committee. These updates were shared across the various social media networks. Every effort was made to ensure as many as possible was exposed to the process.

Conclusion

The election was operated on a global scale. Boundaries were broken down, earthly divides were put aside, and people from all around the world came together to discuss, debate and vote.

It’s evident this election was taken seriously. Passion and effort went into the process, both from the community and from those responsible for organising it. A true attempt at a fair and secure democratic process was made, which mirrored the spirit of Asgardia.

That’s something to be proud of.

Next we’ll look at what we can learn from the process and provide some suggestions on how it can run even better in the future.

Imprint

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