The West Virginia Secretary of State has introduced that 144 voters efficiently solid their ballots within the 2016 midterm elections on a cellular, blockchain-based platform.
The Secretary of State of the U.S. state of West Virginia Mac Warner reported a profitable first occasion of distant blockchain voting in an official announcement Nov. 15.
Warner acknowledged that within the 2018 midterm elections, 144 navy personnel stationed abroad from 24 counties have been capable of solid their ballots on a cellular, blockchain-based platform referred to as Voatz, including:
“This is a first-in-the-nation mission that allowed uniformed companies members and abroad residents to make use of a cellular software to solid a poll secured by blockchain expertise.”
Voting for the final elections on the platform began in September, when absentee balloting opened in West Virginia.
The first trial of the brand new platform occurred in the course of the state’s major elections in April. Blockchain-based ballots have been then restricted to a choose group of voters similar to deployed navy members and different residents eligible to vote absentee underneath the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and their spouses and dependents.
The Voatz system was initially developed to address the problem of low voter participation amongst members of the navy. According to Symantec — the agency behind the Voatz system — solely 368,516, or 18 % of the two million service members and their households serving abroad obtained ballots in 2016. After counting rejections and tardy ballots, solely 11 % of stated votes have been counted.
While Warner famous the mission’s success, his deputy chief of workers Michael Queen instructed the Washington Post that they haven’t any plans for increasing this system past navy personnel serving abroad:
“Secretary Warner has by no means and can by no means advocate that it is a answer for mainstream voting.”
According to information from the United States Elections Project, West Virginia ranks 44th of 50 states in voter participation at 42.6 %.
Some consultants have expressed concern over the security of cellular voting. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the Chief Technologist on the Center for Democracy and Technology, claimed:
“Mobile voting is a horrific concept. It’s Internet voting on individuals’s horribly secured gadgets, over our horrible networks, to servers which might be very tough to safe and not using a bodily paper report of the vote.”
Conversely, Bradley Tusk of Tusk Montgomery Philanthropies has inspired cellular voting, stating that it could actually end up extra voters, and in consequence, “democracy would work quite a bit higher.” Tusk Montgomery Philanthropies helped fund the Voatz app’s growth.
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