May 8th in the evening, polls ended during the West Virginia primary election. This, therefore, markets the end of the first government-run, Blockchain-enabled vote in the US.
Mike Queen, the communications director of West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, while speaking to ETHNews declared that the office he holds believes in “Blockchain does provide a heightened level of security on this type of mobile voting app.” He further added, “We’re genuinely hoping that will allow this type of a mobile app to be made available in the future – as early perhaps as our general election – to military voters.”
Fewer voters were to engage themselves in the trial and this was therefore limited to the military members deployed and also all the other eligible Americans who voted absentee under UOCAVA and also the dependents and spouses. Therefore, the participation in the election was majorly restricted to voters who had made their registrations in two out of the 55 counties which were Monongalia and Harrison.
Pending the voting exercise audit, Warner might roll the system to the UOCAVA voters who are registered in West Virginia from this November election. Voatz will be involved in the audit which made the voting system, the Monongalia and Harrison clerks and also the other parties. In accordance with the queen, Bradley tusk might also be present in the review process. However, it’s not clear if he might participate in the audit. The cybersecurity and the IT personnel from West Virginia will also be involved in the reviewing of the audit’s findings.
Despite the fact that Warner may have authority to unilaterally mandate the implementation of the system in all the counties, Queen made a prediction that the state secretary would call in case the other people agreed that it would be best if this was done.
The other parties which will provide feedback are West Virginia interest groups, governor, county clerks and also the public works board. Queen recognized the elections director Deak Kersey for the facilitation of the entire program and said they he expected the decision of warner of whether he would expand the system.
I regard to the US Election Assistance Commission, more than 200,000 UOCAVA ballots which were given to the others are yet to be returned. This was during the general election in 2016. Therefore, if the voters had requests for the ballot papers, the state should come up with an easier plan in which the residents can participate in the elections.
However, there were some criticisms which faced the trial as an author wrote an article requesting to know if the votes cast in the application would be “distorted before recording.”
Duncan Buell who is a computer science professor at the University of South Carolina identified some issues with the electronic voting, especially with Voatz platform. He said that the fingerprint scanning technology and the facial recognition for voter verification could be subject to hacking.
Queen, on the other hand, thinks that the system is good and could be used for the next elections. He said; “We’re very encouraged so far today and we believe that [Blockchain-based voting] is a real viable option.”