After testing the voting of cell phones with the blockchain in his primary election, the news reports reported that West Virginia decided to extend its use of technology to mid-term elections in November – on a limited basis.
The process, which the state is undertaking with the Boston Voatz based startup, has recently taken a lot of criticism, going from voters' supporters to security researchers to the popular comic book Web XKCD.
West Virginia has already tested the system in two counties during her primary election in May, and Secretary of State Mac Warner told CNN that the state had no problems.
The state is offering the system to voters overseas and has deployed members of the military service – in other words, those voters have covered the law on the voting of foreigners and foreign citizens.
Since the scope is so narrow, it is unlikely that the system will be widely used in November. In addition, CNN reported that the state leaves the individual counties to decide whether to try the system.
The remote voting system has the potential to make voting easier and thus increase participation in the elections. But the test comes at a time when many – many, perhaps – are clamoring for the United States to move in the opposite direction; return to the card. Federal investigations have documented foreign attacks on US voting systems in recent years, and physical documents fundamentally offer some advantages that digital systems connected to the Internet are not.
First of all, they offer voters the tactile evidence of their vote. You can physically give your vote to a survey worker and receive verbal confirmation that will be counted. The card also offers a reserve record for reports and disputes.
The card can not be changed remotely.
Blockchain has his approaches to these concerns, including the possibility for voters to verify their vote by looking for a "hash" "That matches their vote on the blockchain and a record that will show if a third party has attempted to interfere with The results.
But intrinsically, anything that connects to the Internet can be accessed remotely, which is why there is much concern about online voting: the potential, regardless of the mitigating factors that a system could bring on the table, for opponents who attempt to change votes on a scale.
Voatz has tested his technology in several other settings, including student governmental elections and state party conventions. $ 2 million in investment funds at the start of the year.