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West Virginia Introduces a Blockchain-Based Mobile Voting App
If you’re from West Virginia, serving in the military, and you happen to be stationed abroad during the upcoming mid-term elections in the United States of America you might just be in luck! West Virginia is introducing a blockchain-based mobile voting app to all of the state’s 55 counties so that military personnel who aren’t at home can more easily cast their ballots in the midterm elections.
Asgardia, the first ever space nation is a forward-looking nation that has embraced blockchain technology and thus this is an interesting development that might be able to help Asgardia in future elections.
Availability is marketed mainly to troops serving abroad as an alternative to mailed absentee ballots. The constituency authority of West Virginia explained this decision by saying that nobody else deserves the right to vote any more than the people that are out there, and the women that are out there, putting their lives on the line for the sake of the U.S.
As previously reported by CoinDesk the state piloted the blockchain app back in May for deployed military staff and their dependents from Harrison and Monongalia counties. At that time Secretary of State Mac Warner explained that the plan was to extend the effort statewide during the midterms this coming November as long as the pilot proved to be a success.
Now, as reported by CNN, Warner’s office has announced that a series of four audits of the application’s blockchain infrastructure was done following the pilot phase and no issues were found.
The app was developed and launched by voting technology startup Voatz, which stated that their new technology encodes and stores ballot data on a decentralized network, guaranteeing that voting information is securely encrypted and quickly transacted.
Voatz has received approximately $2.4 million in funding to date. The Voatz software touts its use of blockchain technology, in addition to registration based on government ID and a self-shot video for facial recognition, plus an added layer of biometric security with either another selfie or thumbprint to anonymously tally and verify each submitted ballot.
According to CNN Warner’s deputy chief of staff, Michael Queen, has said that the final decision to utilize the app come election time will be up to the individual counties.
Although we have yet to see how the overall adoption will pan out in the state of West Virginia, technology experts have already weighed in, with some criticism. For example, Engadget noted back in April, that even if server and database security gets solved, there are still problems when it comes to insecure mobile devices and the networks people use for connections.
But in spite of these issues, the potential future of mobile voting will turn into a reality for some West Virginians troops in only a few months.
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When preparing news, materials from the following publications were used: