Blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts are going to keep an eye on the U.S Senate election in West Virginia of November 2018. Why?
Because a particular group of people will be voting through a blockchain-based smartphone app, which is going to be the first-ever full-fledged application of blockchain technology in voting in the United States.
UOCAVA voters will reap the benefit
According to West Virginia Secretary of State, Mac Warner, Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) grants voting rights to military personnel and their families serving overseas, and their votes matter as much as any American citizen’s.
Over the years, several methods have been developed to allow such voters to cast their ballots, but none of them have been very successful in keeping confusion out of the way. In contrast to conventional methods, smartphone voting with a defined flow seems quite viable, which is why this option was pondered over.
Voatz – the blockchain app for smart elections
In this unique voting concept, Voatz – the blockchain-based smartphone app – is going to be the tool that UOCAVA voters will use to cast their vote. The app follows an inbuilt facial recognition protocol to identify a voter. A voter will be allowed to cast their vote only if they pass the identification process by the app, which includes verification of uploaded snapshots of government-issued ID documents and a short selfie-style video of the voter. A few officials have already tested the app in some of the special elections, where the utility of it was proven just fine.
The role of blockchain technology in the whole voting system is to record votes on a public ledger in a permanent, tamper-proof way.
Could there be a controversy?
The short answer is yes. Some crucial debates are surrounding the execution of this step as according to some of the experts, voting via smartphone could be turn out to be a complete shipwreck due to hack attacks, which not only may result in foiling the elections but could also put voters’ information at risk. Not to forget, he said the involvement of the Russians in the American Presidential elections of 2016 has still not been ruled out, in which case the blockchain-based elections could be the more significant risk as Russia has an abundance of technical experts into various verticals of the blockchain.