This week West Virginia became the first state in the nation to use blockchain technology Internet voting in a federal general election, piloting the program for military and other voters living abroad. Despite what officials define as a successful app process, from the startup of Boston Voatz, Secretary of State Mac Warner has no plans to extend the program to national civilians, according to The Washington Post.
West Virginia used the Voatz app with a similar limited capacity for the May primary election. The app works by recording votes on a blockchain, a cryptographic concept made popular with cryptocurrencies like bitcoins. Facial recognition technology verifies the identity of the voter by comparing it with the driving license or another identity document and its vote is recorded on a "chain" containing all the votes cast, in which everyone is mathematically "tried". This allows the user to vote from anywhere in the world and verify that their vote has been registered as expected, without the possibility of human error by an electoral official who counts his vote.
According to a press release Tuesday from the Warner office, about 144 voters from West Virginia stationed in 30 countries voted with Voatz for the mid-term elections of 2018. They included active members of the military service, volunteers of the Peace Corps and US citizens abroad for other reasons. Of the 55 counties of West Virginia, 24 participated in the test.
Talking with To send On Tuesday, Michael Queen, Warner's deputy chief of staff, said he was pleased with the trial and had already "very successful" with only two voters reporting difficulties in the use of the app. But the queen also said al To send that the state had no plans to expand the mobile vote in the future.
Election security expert Maurice Turner, from a group of Washington experts called the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the To send that Voatz is probably safer than sending votes away via e-mail, but much less secure than paper forms, echoing the concerns of other experts.