Sunday, 26 May, 2019

West Virginia To Allow Mobile Phone Voting For Midterm Elections

West Virginia to Offer Blockchain Voting Options for Midterms West Virginia will try mobile voting for troops serving abroad
Cecil Davis | 09 August, 2018, 20:47

Now, according to CNN, Warner's office claims that a round of four audits of the application's blockchain infrastructure was completed following the pilot phase and "revealed no problems". Because it's 2018, Voatz naturally touts its use of blockchain technology (as well as registration based on government ID and a self-shot video for facial recognition, plus an additional layer of biometric security with either another selfie or thumbprint) to anonymously tally and verify each submitted ballot.

"There is nobody that deserves the right to vote any more than the guys that are out there, and the women that are out there, putting their lives on the line for us", Warner added. Once the verification step is complete, the voter can then cast his/her ballot directly on the Voatz app.

Michael L. Queen, Warner's deputy chief of staff, told CNN that the final decision on using the app in November will be left to each county.

In a report dated August 6th, CNN stated that the app has been developed by a Boston-based company, Voatz. And the troops involved in it will continue to have the option of voting old-school with paper ballots.

According to CNN Tech, West Virginia plans to deploy the app only for troops serving overseas.

In a previous interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Voatz co-founder and CEO Nimit Sawhney said that Voatz has been working to connect disenfranchised citizens and ensuring that the platform remains accessible to all, regardless of geography or socioeconomic status.

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Not everyone shares his enthusiasm.

As you can imagine, there are some dissenting voices out there, and one came in the form of Joseph Lorenzo Hall, who is the chief technologist at the Centre for Democracy and Technology who told CNN that "Mobile voting is a horrific idea".

"It's internet voting on people's horribly secured devices, over our terrible networks, to servers that are very hard to secure without a physical paper record of the vote", Hall said.

Marian K. Schneider, president of the watchdog group Verified Voting, also rejected the idea, anxious by potential hacks and the lack of a paper trail of the vote. "Undetectable changes that could occur in transit", she said.

United States intelligence agencies have recently warned of possible Russian attempts to interfere with the upcoming midterm elections.

Charles Stewart III, a political scientist at MIT, credits West Virginia for being bold enough to trial the technology, even though he doesn't yet believe the Voatz app is ready for "prime time". "There is something to be said sometimes for small scale pilots where we can learn the trade-offs", he said.