West Virginia to Experiment With Mobile-Phone Voting by Overseas Troops

Why voting in the US is so hard

West Virginia will offer troops serving overseas a chance to vote using a mobile app in November.

But West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner and Voatz, the company that developed maintain the app is secure, CNN noted.

"In regards to Russian involvement in the midterm elections, we continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States", Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsWest Virginia set to allow smartphone voting for those serving overseas GOP congressional candidate: Trump focused on providing "digital and physical" security to U.S.

The Voatz mobile app employs facial recognition to match the face of the voter to the person's photo on their government-issued identification. Once the verification step is complete, the voter can then cast his/her ballot directly on the Voatz app. The ballots themselves are sent anonymously and are recorded on the blockchain - nodes should check if the vote is authentic and made through Voatz.

Writing for CNN in May, Emily Parker, co-founder of LongHash, stated that West Virginia used the blockchain-based mobile app in the federal election.

CoinDesk previously reported that the state piloted the blockchain app in May for deployed military staff and their dependents from Harrison and Monongalia counties.


Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at Center for Democracy and Technology, said that it was "a disgusting idea".

Claiming that the "attack area is much broader" using the blockchain voting app, she believes it offers more opportunities for hacking and interference.

Warner told CNN that the effort is not aimed at the replacement of traditional balloting, adding that troops can cast paper ballots if they like. "It's internet voting on people's horribly secured devices, over our awful networks, to servers that are very hard to secure without a physical paper record of the vote".

Charles Stewart III, who teaches political science at MIT, said that although he doesn't consider mobile voting ready for "prime time", he credited West Virginia for being "the bold ones" testing the technology. "There is something to be said sometimes for small scale pilots where we can learn the trade-offs", he said.

Do you like the idea of voting via mobile app?

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