West Virginians who live abroad have begun casting votes for mid-term elections using a specially design blockchain voting app.
The application called “Voatz” is primarily directed towards active duty military members stationed overseas. The first pilot began in March and concluded on time for West Virginias primary elections. Similar to the current project – it was only available to a group of pre-selected participants
Back in early August, Voatz and The West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner told CNN about four successful audits that had taken place, reviewing the platforms various components.
Michael L. Queen, Warner’s deputy chief of staff stated that each county in West Virginia will have the final say on whether or not to run the app in November elections. Furthermore, regardless of the countys decisions, each voter will have the choice of casting paper ballots instead.
One of the main concerns for giving people the option to cast votes on a digital platform is of course security. With the growing threat of high profile cyber-criminal operations there’s no doubt that the democratic system will make a particularly appealing target for threats both foreign and domestic.
Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the Chief Technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, claimed:
“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.”
On the other hand proponents suggest that giving people more access to voting would lead to an unprecedented turnout, which could harbor an incredible amount of trans-formative power. They argue that voter apathy and distrust in the democratic process could effectively be thwarted by running elections from a transparent Blockchain application.
Furthermore, with proper funding, these things can be properly secured. For example, we don’t avoid storing money in the cloud because of how hard it is to secure. So why should voting be any different?