Voatz, the blockchain-based voting app that has experienced something of a mixed fortune in its use to date, was given another chance to shine recently at the Utah Republican convention last week. The process was hailed as a success by both Voatz personnel and those conducting the vote, suggesting that the platform may be ready for a bigger roll out.
The UTGOP virtual convention is off to a strong start. So far, we have registered 2861 delegates on the VOATZ app which is 73% of our credentialed delegates!! 1747 of those delegates voted yesterday. Not bad for our first day of voting!
— UtahGOP (@UtahGOP) April 24, 2020
Voatz Shrugs off Security Concerns
Utah announced last October that they would be using Voatz for upcoming elections in the state, just four days after the FBI announced that they would investigate a 2018 attempt to hack into the platform during a vote in West Virginia. The push to test the idea of remote secure voting has been led by advocates for disabilities and veterans groups whose members are not always able to vote via postal ballot or in person.
Despite the 2018 attack being unsuccessful, there has nevertheless remains a group of security experts who are worried that the Voatz system is not tamper proof, claiming that votes can be altered after they have been cast, should the blockchain be hacked.
However, these concerns haven’t stopped Utah from persevering from accelerating their use of the platform, which is a particularly prescient move in hindsight.
Coronavirus Caused Increased Remote Voting
Voatz benefited from coronavirus restrictions that required voting from home rather than in person from within a convention center or auditorium, leading to a vastly increased use of the mobile voting platform.
By all accounts the platform shrugged off previous issues and ongoing security concerns and was well received by voters, with Utah GOP Chair Derek Brown telling Forbes that, “The turnout has been phenomenal and the feedback overwhelmingly positive.” Brown added that the turnout was higher than in previous conventions, although how much of this is down to the use of Voatz is of course unknown.
Voatz Leads the Charge for Blockchain
Voatz is one of the few blockchain companies that is not just seeing genuine, day to day usage in the real world but also has the opportunity to revolutionize one of the most important yet technologically backward processes in society – voting.
Hopefully as the app and the technology behind Voatz becomes more embedded in society it will not be feared as much as it clearly is now, and Voatz seems to be turning into a pioneer for blockchain companies around the world.