West Virginia is planning to roll out a mobile voting app based on blockchain for all of the 55 counties of the state. The app has been developed for military personnel who are stationed abroad and cannot come to the state for voting in midterm elections. With the help of this app these overseas voters will now be able to cast their ballots easily.
West Virginia to implement the voting app during midterms
According to reports, West Virginia first tested the blockchain-based app a couple of months ago this year for the military staff as well as for their dependents from Monongalia and Harrison counties. During the testing, Mac Warner, the Secretary of State stated that the state wants to extend this effort across all its counties and will implement during November’s midterms. Warner said that they will use the app if the test proves successful.
Voters will be able to cast their votes through this smartphone app during federal elections. Voatz, a mobile voting platform will use facial recognition software to make sure that the face of each voter matches the identification issued by the government. The state at present will use the mobile app only for military people overseas. It means that civilian people who are abroad but do not belong to the military will not be allowed to use this app.
Audits reveal app to be secure
Both Warner and Voatz have said that the app is secure after they successfully tested it during the spring primary elections of two counties in the state. The office of Warner said, “four audits of various components of the tool, including its cloud and blockchain infrastructure, revealed no problems.” According to the Boston-based Voatz, the technology used in the app encodes, as well as stores the ballot data all on the decentralized network. Thus, the app secures voting information and ensures its quick encryption and transaction.
The deputy chief of staff of Warner, Michael Queen, said that the state officials will leave the decision whether to adopt the app or not with the individual counties. Even though the testing has been successful there are a few technology experts who are apprehensive about its adoption and even have called the concept of voting using mobile app as horrific.