Last year, West Virginia became the first US state to use mobile blockchain voting for a midterm election. According to Donald Kersey, the elections director and deputy legal counsel in the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, the state will continue to use blockchain voting.
As reported by LongHash on April 15, West Virginia will again use Voatz, the mobile blockchain voting startup, in the US 2020 Presidential election.
Voatz is seeking talented #iOS & #Android engineers to join our #boston based team & help build the next iterations of our award winning mobile elections platform. Apply here -> https://t.co/fNnlhM0Ced #votingredefined #changinghowtheworldvotes #builtinboston pic.twitter.com/Zc2c6539fJ
— Voatz (@Voatz) February 17, 2019
Why Use Mobile Blockchain Voting by Voatz?
In an interview with LongHash, Kersey said a big part of why the state is utilizing mobile blockchain technology for voting is to better enable military personnel stationed outside of the United States to cast their votes.
“In America, we have a democratic government. The folks that represent us, that pass our laws, they are elected by the populace. And a big part of our community in America is our military.”
According to Kersey, military personnel stationed outside of the United States find it very difficult and sometimes even impossible to submit secure ballots on time, either by mail or electronically.
Moreover, he says, many overseas voters don’t even vote at all. The Federal Voting Assistance Program reported that only around 7% of overseas voters submitted ballots for the 2016 presidential election.
According to @fvap.gov, only 6.9% of U.S. citizens living overseas voted in 2016 compared to 72% back home. Some Election Officials are doing something about it: https://t.co/XsY8Igryfu pic.twitter.com/bU7jHMf2jv
— Voatz (@Voatz) April 10, 2019
In an effort to increase the number of overseas voters, including military personnel as well as civilian expats, Kersey believes a simple, secure, and easy-to-use mobile blockchain application is the answer, as it is better than submitting ballots through a single server and easier and faster than mail.
“[Blockchain is more secure] because there is no one single point of failure. You have a host of nodes that are storing the data. It’s also highly encrypted.”
While Kersey is all for mobile blockchain voting to increase the number of voters, especially those overseas, he stated that he doesn’t see it taking over traditional means of voting anytime soon, and expects to receive some backlash for using such new technology.
Do you think other US states will join West Virginia in using mobile blockchain voting technology? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.