Upcoming West Virginia Midterm Elections to Welcome Use of Voatz Blockchain Mobile Voting App
Upcoming Midterm Elections in West Virginia Welcome the Use of Blockchain-Based Mobile Voting App
According a recent report from Slate on September 25th, blockchain technology is making its way to voting systems as well. As the midterm elections approach, locals in West Virginia will have an opportunity to cast their absentee ballot with a new mobile voting app that uses blockchain technology.
This opportunity will primarily be to support citizens that are presently overseas, and it was already in effect by September 21st. The app is being called Voatz, and the users have 24 countries from which they are eligible to vote with their smartphone. This option is largely beneficial to West Virginians that are deployed when elections come around. To prepare, the creators of Voatz launched a pilot for the project to test out the remote voting for a small group in March. The pilot ran until May 8th successfully, which is when West Virginia held the primary elections.
In August, the successful outcome was announced by West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, when he told CNN about the “four audits of various components” that preceded the success. Once the report came out, Warner’s deputy chief of staff, Michael L. Queen, noted that the counties will ultimately decide if the app is suitable to their needs for November. However, voters still have the option to use paper ballots, if they prefer not to use the app.
However, despite successful testing, the remote voting project has still managed to get some criticism, which is primarily due to security concerns. The Chief Technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, Joseph Lorenzo Hall, alleged,
“Mobile voting is a horrific idea. It’s Internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over our horrible networks, to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.”
The funders for the project’s development, Bradley Tusk of Tusk Montgomery Philanthropies, encouraged the communities to take advantage of the voting opportunity. By providing a remote option, he believes that “democracy would work a lot better.”