The online voting system was tested last weekend in elections to the Moscow City parliament. If earlier observers had the opportunity to verify the correctness of the vote count, the blockchain system was designed the most untransparent way possible.

On 8 September, Moscow held elections in the city parliament. Moscow residents of three districts had the opportunity to vote through an online voting system based on the blockchain technology. Moscow authorities argued that using this system would be able to minimize the risks of election fraud. But in practice, it was not possible to assess how honest the blockchain voting was. Observers lost all the mechanisms for checking the correctness of the vote count.

Initially, the Moscow City Hall promised that after the vote, the voter will be able to find out if his vote was correctly counted in the system. To achieve this, it was planned to launch a special service. Using this service, a voter could copy his digital code and when voting ends insert this code and check how his vote was counted. But this service was not launched. The Moscow authorities did not officially explain why voters did not receive any instrument to check the system correctness.

Furthermore, observers should have had the opportunity to verify the vote count. Russian authorities promised to give them keys to decrypt the votes. But five days before the election, the Moscow City Electoral Commission decided that when decrypting the votes, observers will get access only to "the total number of encrypted ballots, the number of decrypted ballots, and the percentage of decrypted ballots."

Finally, observers were denied access to the blockchain, where they could track all transactions. But they were given access only to certain blocks.

There was no public explanation of why both voters and observers were denied the opportunity to verify votes.

According to some media citing anonymous developers of the system, they decided not to launch of the vote verification service due to the fact that voters could be pressured, for example, by their employers, who could theoretically force employees to vote from work computers. The developers have not yet found ways to counter this risk.

On election day, two blockages also occurred in the blockchain voting system, because of which it had to be stopped for 40 minutes and for an hour, respectively.