This week, in West Virginia, United States, the 2018 local election ended, being the first voting session in the United States to be held on a blockchain platform. The pilot test was carried out on the Voatz blockchain platform which was built on the set of applications developed by the Hyperledger Project.
The participants of the test chose their candidates for the Senate elections which will be held in November. However, the test of the blockchain voting platform was limited to the foreign-based military and their families.
Blockchain voting platform received positive feedback from the officials of West Virginia
The pilot test was conducted only with foreign military personnel from Harrison and Monongalia Counties and, at the moment, Voatz and the West Virginia’s IT and Security department, are still auditing the data obtained in the test, so results and announcements are expected in the coming weeks.
In this regard, the office of West Virginia Secretary of State, Mac Warner, says the state government believes that “blockchain technology provides a higher level of security in this type of voting application.” Warner, therefore, hopes that the blockchain voting platform will soon be available to all the US military voters from all over the world.
It is important to note that Voatz is a native mobile platform that combines blockchain with biometric technology for identity authentication and is working together with West Virginia authorities since March 2018.
The West Virginia blockchain test has also received negative critics
A professor of computer science at the University of South Carolina, who specializes in voting systems and electoral integrity, says that one of the main problems with this idea is the fact that the code lines are not visible, so, according to him, Voatz can’t be fully trustworthy.
However, the blockchain voting platform is based on the code developed by Hyperledger Project which is an open source initiative with very positive feedback.
West Virginia is the first state in the United States to consider holding its elections on a decentralized and encrypted blockchain voting platform. A digitization of the votes that, according to a Benenson Strategy Group survey, almost 50% of the millennials consider more pleasant.