This September, we were honored to be featured in a six-part series issued by Udacity, an online platform that offers courses to build professional skills ranging from cybersecurity to design. (^click the image above to watch) “Built on Blockchain” is a six-part “original documentary series that aims to demystify blockchain,” featuring how activists and entrepreneurs are building solutions that impact politics, society, and daily life. We encourage you to take a peek — each episode is less than ten minutes — and in particular, at Episode 2, “One Block, One Vote”, where Voatz CEO Nimit shares why he’s moved to do this work, alongside other partners and companies innovating in […]

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We are thrilled our efforts to make mobile voting a reality are sparking an engaged conversation around the nation’s first mobile voting pilot in a federal election. In our three years as a company, more than 75,000 votes have been cast on our platform, and we’ve administered more than 30 pilot elections. With each election we’ve learned something new, and we will continue to take the time necessary to ensure that the voting process is secure for voters. As with the implementation of all new election technologies, the implementation of mobile voting will be a process. It is not something that can, nor that we want to, happen overnight.   […]

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Secretary of State Mac Warner announces the launch of a secure military mobile voting solution for the May 8th Primary Election. Registered and qualified military voters that are currently deployed from participating counties are now able to vote on the secure mobile application and will continue being able to vote until polls are closed at 7:30 p.m. EST on Primary Election Day on May 8th. All that is needed for qualified, registered military personnel to cast their ballot is a compatible Apple or Android mobile device and an approved, validated State or Federal ID.   This pilot project – launched Friday, March 23rd – was originally limited to […]

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After  more than a year of investigation and collaboration, two Boston-based companies, Voatz, Inc. and Clear Ballot Group, Inc. are announcing their partnership to accelerate the introduction of secure, accessible remote voting in elections. Voatz brings an open source blockchain platform designed for secure, high volume remote voting on smartphones and tablets. It has been independently evaluated for security and has already been piloted successfully in several private and municipal elections in 2016.  Clear Ballot, a voting system company, has provided the Voatz team with election industry knowledge, market requirements and a rich sample election dataset that allows their engineers to understand and build support for the complexities and scale […]

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Attempting to build something socially conscious is usually frowned upon at Fintech (i.e. money focussed) hackathons. I happened to be at the Money2020 2016 Hackathon (which is arguably the biggest one around) last weekend and the vibe was pretty much as I had expected. However, one of the challenge sponsors Vantiv had an interesting and somewhat different take on what they wanted participants to build. The thought of using a Sphero to create something useful was enticing enough for me to take up this challenge and so I ended choosing to work on the Vantiv challenge. My hack was called Adjutus – latin for ‘helping someone in need’. My hope was that Adjutus could enable impulse giving by […]

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Team Voatz recently participated in Boston’s HUBWeek, where we spread the word on our cutting-edge mobile voting software. Here are some highlights for those of you who missed out on last week’s festivities: On Thursday 9/29, co-founder and CEO Nimit Sawhney presented at HUBWeek’s The Hype and Promise of Blockchain event at the Boston Federal Reserve. For Voatz, the advent of blockchain is all promise and no hype. Nimit’s presentation covered how the Voatz software uses blockchain technology to protect and secure votes. In short, blockchain is a continuously growing list of data,  in which each individual piece of information is linked to the preceding and subsequent “block” of data. […]

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At the annual AngelHack Boston Hackathon, one of the founding members of Voatz ended up utilizing the IBMs Hyperledger Blockchain for an unusual use case – DroneLine – a decentralized adhoc drone network for emergency deliveries during natural disasters. The network would enable drone owners in the vicinity of a natural disaster to participate in recovery efforts, emergency medicine delivery, etc by loaning their spare drones to DroneLine. DroneLine won the IBM Challenge for the ‘Best use of IBM Bluemix’.

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Aspiring business moguls representing a cross-section of the region’s innovation economy gathered at the Microsoft NERD Center on June 6th for the 2016 MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge’s Startup Spotlight. Showcasing their products and services to more than 350 would-be customers, partners, investors, business development and technology experts in attendance at the annual event, the 30 exhibiting startups addressed end-markets ranging from medical devices, agriculture, transportation and even private napping. In addition to making valuable contacts during the night’s interactive networking, the firms vied for bragging rights for 3 prizes: Company I Want to Have a Beer With Future Unicorn Most Likely to Develop a Cult Following The Voatz team was deeply honored […]

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Nearly 2000 delegates/attendees interacted with the Voatz platform at the 2016 Massachusetts Democratic Party State Convention held at the Tsongas Center in Lowell MA on June 4th 2016. The delegate badges were specifically tagged with Voatz QR codes to simplify the process of authentication and direct scanning was enabled via the Voatz Event Manager (VEM) application.

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Jeff Cain, who directs the Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator, has had a ringside seat on innovation that is happening in the fintech space that most of the startups in his accelerator focus on. What are some examples of non-fintech companies you have worked with? In our first cohort, we had Voatz, which has a mobile voting application. Whether it’s voting for mayor or student body president or, hopefully eventually, national president, they help you do it on on your phone using our account verification technology, along with a bunch of biometrics, as one of their ways to prove that you are who you say you are. You guys haven’t gotten involved […]

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At Generation Citizen’s Spring 2016 Civics Day held on Friday May 13th at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, around 150 eminent judges used the Voatz platform to vote via their mobile devices. Nearly 350 students from Boston, Malden, Brockton, Arlington, Newton, and Lowell took their first step in becoming lifelong active citizens by presenting their action civics projects from the Generation Citizen semester. The Voatz Analytics Dashboard was also used for real time scoring. Several prominent organizations were involved in supporting the event.

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The Voatz team was honored to receive the Audience Favorite award at the Mass Innovation Nights #84 at District Hall in Boston on March 8th 2016. Many thanks to the Mass Innovation Nights team and Microsoft for sponsoring the event and to District Hall for hosting us. The event brought together all facets of the civic tech ecosystem, from the big players like our sponsor Microsoft New England, to the grassroots participants like our featured startups, to the Massachusetts government. The night featured experts from Microsoft, Business Insurance & Benefits Services of MA, Resilient Coders and a representative from Emerson College. The government also announced a new initiative called GovNext. From their […]

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Voatz is one of the startups featured in a two part series on the different types of Blockchain startups.  Part one discusses public blockchains.  Part two will discuss private blockchains. Depending on who you ask, you might hear that the concept of the Blockchain is as dramatic as the creation of the internet […] Source: Why Innovative Companies Are Using The Blockchain

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The Voatz team is honored to be selected to participate in this event as part of HUBWeek. The “showcase” features students and alumni from Harvard University and other area universities, as well as civic tech startups, entrepreneurs, and passionate citizens from across the Greater Boston area. Each presenter will demonstrate their idea through posters, prototypes, and other creative demonstrations. The “challenge” features an esteemed panel of experts and leaders in the local civic tech movement to select the best idea/demonstration. In addition, everyone will be invited to vote for their favorite idea. The #Tech4Democracy Showcase and Challenge was organized with support from: Boston Civic Media Consortium The City of Boston The City […]

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I have long felt some elusive attraction to Model UN—a United Nations competitive stimulation in which teams of high school students engage in political debate. My fascination began in the spring of my eight-grade year as I began the high school application process. After reading extensively through Model UN school profiles, I began to develop an image of the club as some sort of emblem of worldly knowledge that I knew I wished to achieve. And yet, when I arrived at Concord Academy (CA) in the fall of 2012, I did not join their Model UN team. It was the second week of my freshmen year and I was still […]

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Negotiators reached a historic agreement on July 14, 2015 to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions. Currently, the deal is pending in Congress. Congress has the right to review the deal, to approve or disapprove it, and then to overrule a presidential veto if a sufficient number of members of Congress choose to do so. While it is likely that the deal will pass, should Congress disapprove, it would cast doubt on the United States’ ability as a global leader and would likely send the international community into chaos. For America, France, Britain, China, Russia, and Germany, the deal is an opportunity to […]

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15th June 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the “Great Charter” that established the rule of law for the English-speaking world. Though it has always been a bigger deal in the US than in Britain, its revolutionary impact still resounds today in more ways than one, writes Daniel Hannan. Source: Magna Carta: Eight Centuries of Liberty  

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No Neophytes in 2016

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The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll from April found some 69% of Americans expressed misgivings about a presidential candidate who is not a politician or has no previous elected experience. No prejudice for/against the individual in the picture, but doesn’t this make it more of the same and further reduce the possibility of meaningful change ever happening ? Source: Voters Are Saying No to Neophytes in 2016

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President Nursultan Nazarbayev is re-elected to a fifth consecutive term in Kazakhstan, winning 97.7% of the vote, early official results show. An incredible 95.11% of the eligible population of around 10 million came out to vote. Putting aside the usual concerns about the suppression of the opposition, this is still an incredible turnout – wow !! Source: Kazakh leader gains crushing election victory – BBC News

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Welcome to the Voatz Blog. This is officially our first post and I feel I should start with something which happened earlier today at a Father John Misty concert I attended at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. Even though the Paradise is a short walk from my apartment, I had never been there before. I should probably mention that I’ve been living here for almost 12 years now. I do remember buying tickets to at least 3 prior shows over the years but never quite made it to any of them for one reason or another. Well…it turned out to be a great show (FJM is an awesome musician) but something else happened […]

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