West Virginia is launching a Blockchain-based mobile voting platform across 55 countries intended for members of the state’s armed forces stationed overseas in an effort to provide a more convenient means of casting their votes in the forthcoming midterm elections.
The move follows the state’s previous initiative in May when it trialed a Blockchain-based mobile voting app among military staff from Monongalia and Harrison countries. At the time, Secretary of State Mac Warner said that if the trial proved successful, the state plans to deploy the platform on a statewide scale in the slated midterm election this November.
Following the application’s pilot stage, Warner’s office also disclosed that the app’s Blockchain infrastructure underwent a round of four audits and “revealed no problems,” CNN reported.
Voting tech startup Voatz led the development and deployment of the Blockchain app which, according to the firm, is capable of encoding and storing voting information on a decentralized network, ensuring that ballot data are efficiently transacted and securely encrypted.
With that, Warner’s deputy chief of staff Michael Queen told CNN that West Virginia will let the individual countries decide whether or not to adopt the voting platform in the slated midterm elections.
While the adoption of the mobile voting app remains to be seen, a number of tech experts have already dished out their two cents on the initiative, with one even calling the whole concept “horrific.”
As the Center for Democracy and Technology’s chief technologist Joseph Lorenzo Hall told CNN:
“It’s 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.”