Sierra Leone head for presidential poll runoff

Sierra Leone head for presidential poll runoff

The opposition challenger in Sierra Leone's presidential election edged ahead of the ruling party candidate by fewer than 15,000 votes, according to new partial results released on Sunday.

Maada Bio, who briefly ruled the West African country as head of a military junta in 1996, will square off against first-round runner-up Samura Kamara of the ruling All People's Congress, who took 42.7 percent. "A country like Sierra Leone can ultimately minimize a lot of the fall-out of a highly contentious election by using software like this".

Why it matters: Blockchain technology has real potential for elections, since it can be used to create tamper-proof audit trails.

Both candidates are due to take part in a runoff election slated for 27 March, 2018.

The blockchain method primarily used by those engaging in cryptocurrency transactions is a decentralized mechanism where all the information is stored in blocks, can be viewed and altered by registered users.

The service was providedby blockchain firm Agora, reports Business Insider, and allowed each paper ballot to be logged using the specialised technology.

Swiss blockchain company Agora provided the service to Sierra Leone's Western District, which houses the nation's capital of Freetown and is the country's most populous area.

Grammar told Quartz: "I also thought that if we can do it in Sierra Leone, we can do it everywhere else".

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