The American election season is ramping up, with candidates hitting as many states as possible to shore up their chances of winning in their party’s caucus and getting their name on the presidential ticket. In a bid to secure as many voters as possible, West Virginia has confirmed that its citizens currently on active duty or living overseas will be able to make full use of a blockchain based voting app on their mobile phone to take part in the elections. Previously, military personnel and overseas citizens recorded low turnout numbers, but during the primaries this number rose thanks to the test run of a blockchain voting app.
Not All Smooth Sailing
As usual, the blockchain voting system faced a barrage of criticism from security experts, but Voatz – the company behind the app – slammed the claims as impossible thanks to its cryptographically secured voting mechanism. In a statement responding to the claims, Votaz said: “When the voter submits their ballot, an anonymous voter ID (AVID) is created in the smartphone application that is cryptographically attached to all voting transactions. Only the voter knows the AVID linked to their own identity.”
Playing into the Hands of #YangGang
There are an overwhelming number of candidates running a pro-crypto and blockchain platform in the 2020 elections, but none are more pro-crypto than presidential hopeful Andrew Yang. Yang was one of the first candidates for the 2020 elections to begin accepting donations in cryptocurrencies and he is whipping up quite the stir with millennial voters. Dubbed the #YangGang, supporters of the presidential candidate will welcome the news that blockchain technology is starting to creep into the voting process and it could play to Yang’s advantage. People will hear blockchain voting and think of the pro-crypto candidate, and this could lead Yang to scoop up a handful more votes.
Secure and Distributed
If anyone was thinking about hacking the West Virginian blockchain voting system, they will have to come up with fresh plans. Votaz is deploying 32 computer nodes running Linux’s Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Sawtooth. These nodes are spread out over the world and are owned by some of the biggest tech companies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. This will help to keep the system as secure as possible and running at all times, even if AWS suffers another outage.
Crypto and blockchain technology will pay a huge part in the 2020 elections, and candidates supporting this new wave of innovation will ride the wave to the top. #YangGang is receiving huge amounts of support from the crypto community and will likely help draw out younger voters – typically a low turnout demographic.