A hot potato: Even if the Voatz app is 100 percent secure, experts warn that other key cogs of the process - like smartphones and the networks they connect to - are not, thus jeopardizing the integrity of mobile voting.
West Virginia is poised to be the first state in the country to allow citizens to cast federal election ballots using a smartphone app.
According to a recent report from CNN, West Virginians serving overseas will be able to use mobile software from Boston-based company Voatz to cast their ballot in November’s midterm election. The blockchain-based app requires users to register by taking a photo of their government-issued ID and a selfie-style video of their face. The app then verifies that the face in the photo and video are one in the same. Biometrics are also used for verification, Voatz notes.
The digital voting process will serve as an alternative to traditional mailed absentee ballots.
West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner said there is nobody that deserves the right to vote any more than the men and women that are putting their lives on the line for us.
Warner’s office said four audits of the technology surfaced no problems but not everyone is convinced of its security.
Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the publication via e-mail that mobile voting is a horrific idea. Hall described it as Internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over horrible networks to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.
When asked if mobile voting was a good idea, Marian K. Schneider, president of the election integrity watchdog group Verified Voting, said, “The short answer is no.” Like Hall, Schneider expressed concern that changes to a ballot could occur during transit.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Are we ready for mobile voting or are there still too many security vulnerabilities and variables that can’t be reliably controlled?
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