West Virginia's decision to allow voters to vote through their smartphone raises serious security concerns. You can already trade stocks, find a new home or board a flight using your smartphone – perhaps it was only a matter of time before you could vote. West Virginia will be the first state to formally test this technology, allowing overseas residents to vote by app in November's general election. As part of an effort to simplify the absentee ballot process – and reduce the risk of votes not being counted – West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner approved the electoral innovation, which is meant for West Virginians living abroad or serving in the military overseas. "West Virginia is a really a leader in cybersecurity," Mike Queen, a spokesperson for Warner, told Fox News.
Some voters with disabilities will be able to cast their ballots on smart phones using blockchain technology for the first time in a U.S. election on Tuesday. But while election officials and mobile voting advocates say the technology has the potential to increase access to the ballot box, election technology experts are raising serious security concerns about the idea. The mobile voting system, a collaboration between Boston-based tech company Voatz, nonprofit Tusk Philanthropies and the National Cybersecurity Center, has previously been used for some military and overseas voters during test pilots in West Virginia, Denver and Utah County, Utah. Now, Utah County is expanding its program to include voters with disabilities in its municipal general election as well. The idea, according to Bradley Tusk, the startup consultant and philanthropist who is funding the pilots, is to increase voter turnout.
West Virginia could soon make it easier for people with disabilities vote in the 2020 presidential election. State administrators plan to sign a bill that will require counties to provide these individuals with a type of online ballot-marking device that can be used with a smartphone. West Virginia's election official is leaning towards adopting the smartphone app Voatz, which is what was used to allow troops overseas to vote in elections. However, cybersecurity experts are weary about using the technology and others like it, saying it provides more opportunities for hackers to infiltrate the voting system. West Virginia could soon make it easier for people with disabilities vote in the 2020 presidential election.
Bradley Tusk has a plan to fix American democracy. A former high-level staffer for Chuck Schumer and Michael Bloomberg, among others, Tusk has recently been using his political wits to help tech companies sidestep red tape and clear regulatory hurdles. As he recounts in his new book, "The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups from Death by Politics," Tusk has--for better or for worse--convinced authorities across the country to let Uber operate in their cities, figured out how to get the San Jose City Council to allow on-demand home delivery for marijuana, and toppled regulations banning the sale of online homeowners and renters' insurance. When Uber, the first tech client of his fledgling consulting firm, didn't have enough cash to pay him, Tusk took half his compensation in equity. As a consequence, he said, "I just got more money than I ever expected to have."
West Virginia will provide a mobile blockchain voting option, in addition to absentee ballots, for overseas military service members in elections this November, after receiving audit results this week from a pilot program. It will be the first state to offer this technology to improve voting accessibility for deployed members of the military and their families, according to West Virginia's secretary of state. Eligible voters will be able to cast their ballots through a mobile application that uses blockchain technology, which stores data on a decentralized database, meaning there's no owner, allowing for more transparent transactions. Information is stored publicly, but to ensure privacy, West Virginia voters' personal information will remain anonymous. Most U.S. citizens vote in-person or by mail-in ballots.