Denver to test blockchain-encrypted mobile voting in May election
Published: March 07, 2019
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Denver Election Officials have announced overseas voters will be allowed to cast votes for an upcoming local election using a blockchain-encrypted mobile app.
Overseas Denver voters will be given the option of using the app Voatz to cast their ballots in the upcoming local elections in May. This app was used last year in West Virginia to collect military and overseas voters’ ballots for congressional elections. The app, which is based on blockchain encryption, uses multifactor authentication and facial recognition to allow voters to access and submit their ballots. Once completed, the ballots are sent to the elections board, with a copy sent to the voters’ email.
The use of internet-based voting has faced some criticism, namely around security and malware on voters’ devices. Additionally, concerns over whether blockchain actually protects anonymity have arisen, however proponents of the technology, such as West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, have stood by its usage. West Virginia successfully used the application for 144 overseas voters to submit their ballots, all of which were subjected to four separate audits.
Denver and West Virginia are not alone in their consideration of blockchain technology. Florida recently introduced a bill in the state legislature to form a blockchain working group to assess potential uses for the technology in state government. Connecticut has already formed a working group to analyze the potential value of blockchain, and Ohio held a workshop in December 2018 with industry experts to examine its value and ascertain where its use would be most effective. Delaware has a contract with IBM for a new corporate filing system using blockchain technology.
Although its use in state and local government is not entirely widespread at this point, there clearly is interest in the technology, and it may be an area to watch as these states continue to examine uses and benefits of blockchain in government technology.