In this election season, the West Virginia state implemented a blockchain-based voting app for the first time. The app, created by a company called Voatz, was tested for the first time in two counties during the primaries at the start of this year. After a successful test, it was used during the mid-term elections last week on a larger scale. StateScoop reported that only 13 people used the app to vote in the county primaries, a number that has grown to about 150 people who voted from 24 of the 55 counties in the general medium term. The majority of these voters are currently deployed by military members or Peace Corps volunteers.
The process for placing the cards is simple but long. The Voatz app is available for download for everyone on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. When registering an account, users must provide their phone numbers and an eight-digit pin code, adding extra precautions such as two-factor authentication to prevent accounts from being violated or votes broken. Thus, users must authenticate their identities in three separate ways. First, they must send a photo of their driving license. Then, follow an in-app instructional video to shoot and post a video of their faces. Facial recognition technologies, such as Apple's Face ID, are used to verify that the face in the video is the same and that the account is registered in the state voter registration base.
After the account has been registered, users can send their votes through the app, as long as their identity is verified with a technology such as Face ID or by scanning their fingerprints.
The votes are then printed on a paper form. Paper cards resemble the Scantron high school tests and are fed through a machine similar to the one used by educators for multiple choice tests.
The secretary of state of West Virginia, Mac Warner, said StateScoop"Blockchain is used in everything from health care to transportation, practically all the different ways in which high-tech solutions to the problems Americans are facing".
"It's not fashionable, it's the wave of the future," said Warner.
The office of the secretary of state will carry out a complete review of the blockchain-based voting records and, once the full audit is complete, will publish a report next week in which he exposes his performance.