The West Virginia election Commission has announced that it has abandoned plans to use the Voatz blockchain app for voting.
Secretary of state Mac Warner announced that Voatz will not be used, so that citizens of the state who are traveling (or in the army) and are not able to come to the polls will not be able to use the mobile app to vote. Instead, they were offered a service that allows them to fill out a newsletter online, print it out and send it by mail.
The Voatz app was used during the midterm elections last year and it was planned to be used for the current primaries as well. However, after a group of MIT researchers stated
about the discovery of serious vulnerabilities in the application, trust in it has been shaken. This was not affected even by the fact that the us Department of homeland security did not detect problems during last year’s election. Then it was reported that hackers tried to hack Voatz, but did not succeed.
“If the public doesn’t want it or is skeptical, not sure about the results, then we have to take it into account,” said General counsel to the Secretary of state Donald Kersey.
West Virginia has long been testing the blockchain for elections and voting. Back in August 2018, the Voatz mobile blockchain app became available in the state for voting in all 55 counties in the region.
Also recently, MIT Professor in the field of computer technology Ronald Rivest (Ronald Rivest) said that the blockchain is not suitable for organizing votes.