Yesterday, Tusk Philanthropies (TP), the company behind the Mobile Voting Project voting app, announced that Utah County in America will use their voting system on the blockchain for the next municipal elections in August.
The pilot project involves the cooperation of the election division of the Utah County, Voatz, Tusk Philanthropies and the National Cybersecurity Center. Those entitled to vote will be able to participate in the next elections by voting electronically via their smartphones. First, however, they will have to complete various authentication steps through the Voatz application, developed with military technology, and they will be able to vote until August 13th, the closing day of the vote.
It is an emblematic project, as defined by the Deputy Governor of Utah, Spencer Cox:
“I am thrilled that Utah County is partnering with Tusk Philanthropies, Voatz and the National Cybersecurity Center to bring these secure, blockchain-based voting options to Utahns overseas for the upcoming municipal election. This pilot project is emblematic of Utah’s commitment to safe, efficient elections for all — especially our brave military and their families all over the world. The opportunity for these Utahns to vote via smartphone means they will more securely participate in the democratic processes they are serving to protect.”
It is certainly an interesting project because it allows citizens who are abroad and who are unable to travel to Utah to participate in the vote. Estimates suggest that the number is about 300,000 voters.
It’s an important moment and it was very much requested by the Utah community, as stated by the CEO and founder of Tusk Philanthropies, Bradley Tusk:
“Utah’s pilot is another sign that the momentum for mobile voting in our country is very real and supports our theory that when you show people a much better way to do something, there becomes a demand for it. As we enter into a Presidential election year, we have to continue to remove as many barriers and hurdles as possible so a lot more people are able to participate in our democracy.”
Voatz CEO and co-founder, Nimit Sawhney, pointed out that those abroad, especially the military, will have the opportunity to vote:
“Election officials in Utah County and across the country are recognizing that current absentee voting methods are not sufficient. Members of the military who are stationed overseas or young people serving missions around the world should be able to take advantage of the latest advances in smartphone hardware, encryption and blockchain technology to cast their ballot. We are delighted that voters in Denver, West Virginia and now Utah County have had an opportunity to evaluate the security and ease of voting from a mobile device.”
The director of Business and Government Initiatives at the National Cybersecurity Center, Forrest Senti, explained that:
“The upcoming Utah County pilot will be an exciting opportunity to build off the learnings we gained in Denver. This next pilot is a great showcase of how public/private partnerships can innovate to push the envelope of what it means to have ease of access and security for all voters everywhere.”