West Virginia Adopts Remote Mobile Voting Blockchain-Based App

The State of West Virginia has become the latest to adapt blockchain as it has deployed the use of a mobile voting app that is dependent on the platform in the forthcoming November midterm elections.

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Beginning from Friday, September 21, West Virginians residing overseas will be able to cast absentee ballots with the aid of a blockchain-dependent mobile voting application known as Voatz.

This application, which is mainly designed for members of the military who are based abroad, will allow citizens of West Virginia who are already registered in 24 countries to cast their absentee votes through their smartphone.

This novel approach for remote voting, which began in March and was only opened to a few selected voters, came to a successful completion on May 8, the day West Virginia held its primary elections.

The West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, in an exclusive interview chat with CNN in March, said that the testing, which was carried out on four audits of various components of the platform, has proven to be extremely successful.

On the strength of this report, Michael L. Queen, Warner’s deputy chief of staff has revealed that all the counties in West Virginia will have the final say about whether the app should be adopted for the November midterm elections or not. He also added that the blockchain app has not phased out the paper ballots as voters can still do so if they desire.

However, not everyone seems to be on board with this new idea. The mobile voting app has received criticism primarily over its level of security. The Center for Democracy and Technology’s Chief Technologist, Joseph Lorenzo Hall, is the one leading this charge.

According to him, “Mobile voting is a horrific idea. It is 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, the company that bankrolled the development of the app, Tusk Montgomery Philantrophies, in a statement by its chief executive, Bradley Tusk, encouraged the usage of the blockchain platform for voting. He further stated that it would encourage more voters to turn out and, in the process, make democracy work a whole lot better.

To conclude

West Virginians have become the first in the country to use a blockchain-based remote mobile voting app for voting in absentia in the upcoming November midterm elections. The project, which was begun in March and deemed to be a wild success at its completion in May, is expected to allow citizens of West Virginia, particularly military members that are resident in 24 countries, exercise their civic duties in the coming elections.

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