Blockchain Voting From Voatz Used by Arizona Party Convention
Yesterday, blockchain-based voting platform Voatz stated in a statement that it held a virtual convention for the Arizona State Republican Party. The event involved live video and telephonic conversations between political representatives and their constituents.
The Republican Party Convention is an event where party members choose nominees for the state or presidential elections. Usually, the event is held physically, however, the current COVID-19 crisis occurred in the party investigating other options.
Voatz offered its mobile voting platform to the Republican Party of Arizona officials for the May 9 convention. Over 1,100 delegates utilized the app to cast their votes for a state nominee.
“This is a critical moment for our democracy, and we have to ensure that we have safe alternatives to voting in person. Voatz is proud to meet this need and to ensure the safety and health of its voters,” said Nimit Sawhney, Co-Founder and CEO of Voatz in a statement.
Last month, the Utah Republican Party’s Convention accepted the Voatz app to select nominees for the State Primary Elections.
Supported by Medici Ventures, the investment arm of Overstock.com, Voatz has developed a blockchain-based mobile election platform. In February, MIT researchers discovered vulnerabilities in the app, possibly enabling hackers to alter votes. Nevertheless, Voatz slammed the researchers and stated that they had reverse-engineered an older version of the application.
Following the news, West Virginia stated it would cease utilizing the Voatz app for mobile voting. “After a careful vetting process, we were confident in Voatz’s ability to support secure and private voting with the added benefit of an immediate confirmation that each delegate’s vote counted,” said Greg Safsten, Executive Director, Republican Party of Arizona in a statement.
While the Republican Party has taken measures for remote voting, the Democratic Party is also examining comparable solutions for its presidential convention. Before COVID-19, this would have been deemed controversial.
The U.S. Congress is looking at blockchain and other technologies for its two legislative houses. Meantime, India’s Election Commission is operating with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) on a blockchain voting system. Swiss city Zug has previously pursued blockchain voting utilizing a digital identity.
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