On May 8, West Virginia polls closed completing the first ever blockchain-mediated voting run by the government in the history of America. The provision was allowed only for special voters belonging to certain districts. These voters used their mobiles to vote from the blockchain-based platform.
According to reports, this particular voting platform based on blockchain technology was only allowed for a select group of voters including deployed military members, other citizens eligible to vote absentee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), their dependents, and spouses. Developed by Voatz, the voting platform was restricted only to limited registered voters in the two counties of West Virginia, Harrison, and Monongalia.
A day after the elections, Mike Queen, the communications director for West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner said that his office believes that the blockchain technology does provide the high-level of security to the voting app on mobile. According to Queen, “ We’re genuinely hoping that will allow this type of a mobile app to be made available in the future – as early perhaps as our general election – to military voters.”
Cybersecurity And IT Professionals To Audit Voting Results
According to reports, the audit of the election voting conducted on the mobile platform will be carried out by the employees of Voatz, the clerks of Monongalia and Harrison counties, and some other parties. Queen said that the venture capitalist, Bradley Tusk will also take part in the review process, although the communications director did not mention whether Tusk will be participating in the actual auditing process.
Bradley Tusk is the person who paid around $150,000 to Voatz so that the blockchain-mediated voting through mobile app becomes a possibility. The audit’s findings will also be reviewed by the cybersecurity and IT personnel.
Blockchain-Based Voting Is Dangerous
Although until now no untoward incidences have been reported after the West Virginia elections, cybersecurity experts still are adamant that blockchain-based technology that is also used for crypto mining is a dangerous option for voting. They believe that this step taken by West Virginia can indirectly encourage hacking in future elections because blockchain has its limitations and the technology only addresses part of the security process but do not guarantee 100% protection.