In an effort to give absentee voters the ability to cast ballots, West Virginia is introducing blockchain-based voting to the upcoming midterm election.
The move follows a pilot that was successfully tested back in May this year. Secretary of State for West Virginia, Marc Warner, is now following through with plans to implement the system in all 55 counties for the November midterms.
The voting system utilizes a mobile app developed by Voatz, a blockchain voting startup that has created a secure, encrypted method of casting ballots via a decentralized network. The system is mainly focused on helping military personnel and their families who are stationed abroad to still cast a vote.
There has been some expected pushback to the idea, with chief technologist at the Centre for Democracy and Technology, Joseph Hall, saying it would be “very difficult to secure”. He believes personal mobile devices are not secure enough to ensure the integrity of the vote.
Voting via blockchain is a concept that has gained increasing traction lately in many countries globally. The Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia recently announced they will start trialling blockchain technology for administrative purposes, following a successful blockchain voting trial by local bank Santander.
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