The West Virginia authorities have partnered the Boston company Voatz, a startup with $2 million in venture capital funding to allow overseas voting via smartphone in the 2018 election. Members of the military will be able to cast their ballots using an app, with voting data recorded on a blockchain.
The blockchain app will become an alternative to postal absentee ballots at the November 2018 elections. Voatz’ facial recognition technology will ensure that the person voting in the selfie video matches the ID. Troops will still be able to cast paper ballots if they prefer.
West Virginia’s plan for blockchain-based voting prompts concerns, because these technologies may not be consistent with the recommended way to secure an election. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, even told CNN that it was a “horrific idea” because of the security vulnerabilities it opens up.