West Virginia raises concern over smartphone voting for troops • TechCrunch

[Updated with Voatz’s statement at the bottom of this post]. Possibly a 12 months and a half after Russian interference was believed to have a key influence on the election of a U.S. president isn’t one of the best time to be floating new voting applied sciences. Not in case you’re seeking to keep away from some main skepticism, a minimum of.

However West Virginia goes forward with plans to permit some restricted voting via a smartphone app referred to as Voatz, nonetheless. The plan, spearheaded by West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, will make the most of the Boston-based startup’s know-how to permit troops stationed overseas to vote within the upcoming November midterm.

Each Voatz and Warner, naturally, tout the safety of the app. Indentification requires a person to take a selfie, which is matched with a state I.D. utilizing facial recognition. Ballots are then nameless and recorded with blockchain tech.

Naturally, not everyone seems to be thrilled in regards to the thought.

“Cell voting is a horrific thought,” the Heart for Democracy and Know-how’s Joseph Lorenzo Corridor, told CNN. “It’s web voting on folks’s horribly secured units, over our horrible networks, to servers which can be very tough to safe with out a bodily paper document of the vote.”

Not a fan, apparently.

The state has been testing the tech, and Warner says that paper will nonetheless be an choice for these serving overseas, even because it presents entry to smartphone voting. The dearth of paper path for digital voting, nevertheless, is mostly thought-about a little bit of a nonstarter, and up to date occasions will seemingly solely make safety consultants extra cautious of adopting new tech.

Replace: In a press release despatched to TechCrunch, a Voatz consultant mentioned,

“We’re thrilled our efforts to make cell voting a actuality are sparking an engaged dialog across the nation’s first cell voting pilot in a federal election. In our three years as an organization, greater than 75,000 votes have been solid on our platform, and we’ve administered greater than 30 pilot elections. With every election we’ve realized one thing new, and we’ll proceed to take the time needed to make sure that the voting course of is safe for voters. As with the implementation of all new election applied sciences, the implementation of cell voting shall be a course of. It isn’t one thing that may, nor that we need to, occur in a single day. We applaud the State of West Virginia for main the cost in making voting extra handy for army personnel, their households, and for residents residing abroad. We’re proud to be their associate. The preliminary pilot, performed earlier this 12 months, was met with enthusiasm and gratitude by these serving overseas. We’re excited to proceed studying and rising the platform to allow extra abroad residents to vote with better comfort.”

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