- Utah County is the third jurisdiction to adopt blockchain technology for their voting processes.
- The first two states to add blockchain voting to select areas were Colorado and West Virginia.
Blockchain technology has many benefits, as industries around the world have come to find. Some jurisdictions in the United States have already implemented the technology to keep their voting system organized, and Utah County just decided to try it out as well. In offering a blockchain voting system, Utah County has become one of only three jurisdictions to use it and sets itself apart from the other 28 counties in Utah.
With this new implementation, Utah County voters will be able to use a smartphone application to participate in the next municipal primary election, according to a July 23rd official press release. Utah follows the lead of West Virginia and Colorado in this launch. The pilot is a collaborative effort between the National Cybersecurity Center, Tusk Philanthropies, Voatz, and the Utah County Elections Division.
Founder and CEO of Tusk Philanthropies, Bradley Tusk, said that the addition of this voting system for Utah is “another sign” that mobile voting could pick up in the United States. It also indicates that,
“when you show people a much better way to do something, there becomes a demand for it.”
“As we enter into a Presidential election year, we have to continue to remove as many barriers and hurdles as possible, so a lot more people are able to participate in our democracy.”
The Voatz-based mobile app comes with “military-grade” security technology. The announcement adds that the infrastructure includes both blockchain technology and biometrics, and the startup has already conducted over 40 pilots for various voting situations.
Forrest Senti, the director of business and government initiatives at the National Security Cyber Center, stated that the pilot for Utah County is “an exciting opportunity” for them to build upon what they took in during the Denver pilot. Senti added,
“This next pilot is a great showcase of how public/private partnerships can innovate to push the envelope of what it means to have ease of access and security for all voters everywhere.”
The announced stated that the voting has already started on June 28th, but will continue until August 13th, which is election day. The voters involved in the pilot include active-duty military service members, any eligible dependents, and voters who are presently overseas.
In March this year, Denver became the second jurisdiction to form a blockchain voting pilot, allowing the most populous city in Colorado to take advantage. The announcement that they developed their own pilot was about a year after the launch of the mobile voting station in West Virginia, which was used during the primaries and the 2018 midterm elections.