The Denver Elections Division, in collaboration with Overstock voting portfolio company Voatz and Tusk Philanthropies, will be conducting a blockchain-based pilot program for the upcoming Denver municipal elections.
The pilot program will use the Voatz mobile elections platform, which is leveraging the technology and immutability of blockchain alongside existing smartphone security protocols, to allow voters to use their own mobile devices to cast votes.
“Voatz has already undergone dozens of successful pilots, but the work the team is doing with the city of Denver has the feel of an ice-breaking moment for the world of voting security,” said Overstock.com CEO and founder Patrick M. Byrne. “I applaud the innovative and forward-looking thinking of the Denver Elections Division and the seeds they have sown towards a true democratic system in which everyone has the ability to cast their vote in a secure and easily accessible way.”
According to the Denver Elections Division, the pilot program will target active-duty military personnel and eligible dependents as well as other overseas voters. They will be allowed to use Voatz’s blockchain-based smartphone app to vote in the May 2019 election, which includes the Denver mayoral race in which Mayor Michael Hancock is seeking re-election.
“With this pilot program, Denver is leading the effort to make voting more convenient, accessible and secure for deployed military personnel and overseas US citizens,” said Nimit Sawhney, CEO and co-founder of Voatz. “The latest developments in smartphone hardware, encryption and blockchain technology make mobile voting a reality. This is a significant stepping stone that I hope many other states and cities will follow.”
Since June 2016, more than 80,000 votes have been cast on the Voatz platform across more than 30 elections. Last year, the platform was used for mobile voting in the primary and general elections in West Virgina.
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