Citizens of West Virginia that presently live in abroad have reportedly begun using a blockchain-based app for voting on Friday. The application dubbed will enable voters registered in 24 countries to cast absentee ballots via smartphones, mainly targeting military members stationed overseas.
The pilot project for remote voting, which was only available to select group of voters, begun in March and was completed on 8th May, the day of West Virginia’s primary election.
In early August, the West Virginia Secretary of State and Voatz, Mr. Mac Warner, told CNN about the outcome of testing after “four audits of various components” of the platform.
Following the report, Mac Warner’s deputy chief of staff Mr. Michael L. Queen stated that each separate West Virginia county would make the final decision about implementing the app for November elections, adding that voters will be still enabled to cast paper ballots if they choose. The blockchain-based remote voting initiative has drawn some criticism, particularly over security concerns.
The Chief Technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, Mr. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, asserted:
“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 hard to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.”
Mr. Bradley Tusk of Tusk Montgomery Philanthropies – the firm which funded the application development encouraged blockchain deployment for voting. Mr. Tusk said that remote voting could turn out more voters and as a result, “democracy would work a lot better.”