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As West Virginia brought the vote safe with the blockchain on Election Day – GCN

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As West Virginia brought the safe vote with the blockchain on election day

The first test of the blockchain-protected vote in a general election was considered a success by West Virginia secretary of state, Mac Warner. His office estimates that 144 voters from 30 different countries were able to cast their votes anonymously using a blockchain-based mobile voting app.

Military personnel and foreign voters from 24 of the 55 counties of the state used Voatz's app. The vote based on the blockchain was expanded in West Virginia after a successful test in two counties during the May primary election. This election has put West Virginia "in the history books to be the first state in the nation to deploy a" mobile voting application ", according to a statement from the Office of Secretary of State Mac Warner.

The Voatz app enables military and foreign voters who qualify under the Uniformed and Foreign Citizens Act to verify their identity by providing a picture of their driver's license, status ID or passport combined with a selfie. Once the voters' identities are confirmed, they receive a mobile vote based on what they will receive in their local district. Distributed ledger technology ensures that votes can not be tampered with once registered.

Tomicah Tillemann, who coordinated with West Virginia the effort in his role as president of the Global Blockchain Business Council, also declared the effort a success.

"It worked like a spell" in the general election, Tillemann said in a November 7 blockchain hosted by the Kogod School of Business of the American University. "I would not recommend it as a voting solution for everyone," he added, but "is an indication of what will be possible with this technology".

In a New York Times editorial, Alex Tapscott, co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute, highlighted the benefits of blockchain voting before election day.

"The blockchain vote reaches privacy for the individual and enhances transparency for the system as a whole," wrote Tapscott. "Voting systems will be cheaper, more efficient and more accessible by eliminating most, if not all, opportunities for repression, fraud or accusation of fraud".

However, J. Alex Halderman, director of the Center for Computer Security and Society at the University of Michigan, expressed his doubts about the vote based on the blockchain to MIT Technology Review.

"Blockchain does not fix the difficult parts of online election security," Halderman said, "it's just another form of vote recording: if attackers compromise voters' devices or servers that record votes and register them to the blockchain, can still manipulate electoral results There are no easy solutions here. "

About the author

Sara Friedman is a journalist / producer of GCN, covering the cloud, computer security and a wide range of other public sector IT topics.

Prior to joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, covering state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantastic sports. He also wrote for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecommunications and cloud computing. Friedman graduated from Ithaca College, where he studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow it on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for Friedman's previous articles.

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