West Virginia’s closely watched midterm pilot test of the Voatz system could accelerate the deployment of new election technologies
West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner agrees with the consensus view of a presidential commission, election officials, and info security experts – all opposed to any attempt ahead of 2020 to make voting as convenient as online banking.
Which raises a big question: Why is the 63-year-old fifth-generation West Virginian behind a project that will make his state the first ever to use smartphone voting in a general election? The plan is all the more controversial amid criticism of anything remotely related to email and internet voting.
Yet despite the criticism, West Virginia is moving forward with using the blockchain-and-smartphone platform because Warner says the rewards far outweigh the risks in the use case the state’s targeting: Allowing soldiers, their families, and other overseas citizens the right to have a say in who’s running things back home.
“This is a specific solution to an identifiable problem,” he said.
This post originally appeared on Oct. 25, 2018 on the Symantec Election Security blog.
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