Category Archives: Elections

Voatz successfully completes another significant mobile voting exercise, confirming that mobile can be a viable voting option in these unprecedented times. BOSTON, May 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Voatz, the Boston-based mobile voting platform, today announced the successful completion of the virtual Arizona State Republican Party Convention, the first of its kind to also incorporate visual live streaming and telephonic townhall components. This continues the momentum of mobile voting as an alternative, secure way to exercise the democratic right to vote.  In order to ensure a smooth rollout of the platform, Voatz worked closely with Republican Party of Arizona officials to train voters and test the platform ahead of the May 9 convention.  More than 1,100 delegates voted using […]

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Below is the transcription of an interview conducted by David Cohen, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Techstars, the global platform for investment and innovation that connects entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations. David interviewed Dr. Eric Haseltine on the security of our nation’s elections. Dr. Eric Haseltine is an author, futurist and neuroscientist. He is former director of research at the National Security Agency, Executive Vice President at Walt Disney Imagineering, Associate Director at CTO for National Intelligence at the Federal Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and a director of engineering at the Hughes Aircraft Company. David Cohen: Eric, in addition to your credentials at the NSA, I understand you […]

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Last week, nearly 7,000 votes were submitted using the Voatz mobile voting platform in the Utah GOP’s virtual convention. This constituted a 93% turnout for the convention. All submitted ballots undergo a public citizen’s post-election audit, in which anyone is able to participate as an auditor, hosted by the National Cybersecurity Center. We wanted to share interesting data from this election. In addition to voting statistics, after voting, several Utah GOP voters voluntarily responded to a survey regarding their experience with mobile voting. Highlights: 90% reported being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the convention 87% reported being more likely to serve as a delegate if future conventions are online 89% […]

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Full press release issued here. BOSTON and SALT LAKE CITY, April 30, 2020 — Voatz, the Boston-based mobile voting platform, today announced the successful completion of a first-of-its-kind virtual convention with the Utah Republican Party to narrow down key races in upcoming elections, including the race for governor and the 4th Congressional seat. 7,430 delegates were credentialed using the Voatz platform to participate across this year’s state convention, and five local county conventions. In the state convention, the party witnessed a record-breaking 93% participation rate, voting via the Voatz app using smartphones. This election also reflects the largest use of ranked-choice voting in Utah’s history.  Voatz was engaged to work with the state at the end of March. Building […]

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Voatz is honored to sit on the new advisory board for the National Cybersecurity Center’s (NCC) Secure the Vote initiative. Secure the Vote seeks to advance the development of standards and best practices in mobile voting, and to scale efforts in support of a culture of security in small and rural jurisdictions. The advisory board, made up of experts in cybersecurity and elections, will provide diverse perspectives on election security and growth at the intersection of technology and voting. We applaud the NCC for forming this initiative and look forward to contributing to well-informed discussions on the opportunities with mobile voting technology that ensure greater safety and transparency.

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Last week, Utah County, UT successfully completed its third mobile voting pilot using Voatz to enable remote voting for overseas citizens, deployed military and citizens with disabilities. This marks Voatz’s tenth governmental pilot in the nation. The pilot saw great success, with 78 total submitted ballots, marking a 91% return rate on all ballots sent to these voters. This pilot was also available to voters with disabilities, including a voter who had just received a kidney transplant and was unable to travel to the polls. “We are so impressed with how knowledgeable, supportive and professional the Voatz team is. I love how smooth and easy the application and process is, […]

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In celebration of this love-filled day, from the humans behind the screens, we take this moment to bust five not-so-romantic myths about us.   MYTH 1: Voatz doesn’t like cybersecurity researchers TRUTH: Absolutely not! The Voatz team is staffed by cybersecurity experts and technologists – we wouldn’t be here otherwise. We are promiscuous though… we’ve worked with more than 100 other researchers to test and verify their claims on our public bug bounty program using the latest version of our platform. If someone misled you to believe otherwise, please know – we love you. Slide into our DMs on Twitter @Voatz or out in the open on our public bug […]

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The following Voatz press call took place on February 13, 2020 from 1-1:30pm ET. The contents of the call are transcribed below, lightly edited for punctuation and typos. Full audio is available here. Robert Dowling, Moderator: Use the chat function to send us your questions. Direct all your questions to moderator and that way we will take them on as we have with, on a first come first serve basis. As some of you know, Voatz is regularly called on by members of the media and influencer community to respond to all kinds of conversations, including what’s been raised by The New York Times today. Voatz as a small team […]

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Voatz wishes to acknowledge the enormous effort it must have taken for the team of researchers, until this point anonymous to us, to produce “The Ballot is Busted Before the Blockchain: A Security Analysis of Voatz, the First Internet Voting Application Used in U.S Federal Elections”.  Our review of their report found three fundamental flaws with their method of analysis, their untested  claims, and their bad faith recommendations. First, the researchers were analyzing an Android version of the Voatz mobile voting app that was at least 27 versions old at the time of their disclosure and not used in an election. Had the researchers taken the time, like nearly 100 […]

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This past weekend, Voatz was a proud sponsor of Hack(H)er413, the first all-women and non-binary students’ hackathon in Western Massachusetts. Over the course of 24 hours, participants were encouraged to learn and develop new technical skills, network, and innovate with passion. The hackathon was organized entirely by students and aimed to increase diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. During our time there, we held a workshop introducing participants to ethical hacking, mobile code security testing, and invited students to sign up for the Voatz bug bounty program with an invitation to test the latest versions of the Voatz mobile voting platform. We were impressed by the students’ interest, the thoughtful questions, […]

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Voatz is following the news from Iowa closely and we are interested, like everyone else, in learning what happened. We are unable to comment on the technology used by The Iowa Democratic Party. We’ve never previously heard of the technology nor the company behind it. However, we want to make it clear that Voatz was not involved in the Iowa caucuses, and using an app to tabulate in-person caucus votes is not mobile voting. To make the distinction abundantly clear, Voatz is a mobile elections platform built to ensure an accessible, secure voting method for groups that otherwise face difficulties with the voting options currently available (i.e. overseas citizens, deployed […]

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In the November 2019 General Election, Pierce County, Washington successfully piloted an expansion of mobile voting to its military and overseas voters. These efforts were in support of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. “The imminent withdrawal from the Postal Union created an imperative. Knowing that the biggest barrier for military voters is the transit time to receive and return a ballot, we weren’t willing to risk additional delays,” said Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson. Voatz, a mobile elections platform, was used in the pilot. Eligible registered voters received, marked, verified and submitted their ballots using their personal […]

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BOSTON, Nov. 04, 2019 — Voatz, a Boston-based elections company focused on secure mobile voting , announced a collaboration with the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH Educational Foundation (NCAM) to test the accessibility features of the company’s secure mobile voting application. The mobile voting application, available on compatible Android and iOS devices, allows deployed military personnel and overseas U.S. citizens, as well as people with disabilities, to conveniently and securely vote in elections with their smartphones from virtually anywhere in the world.   “We’re proud to collaborate with NCAM to help make sure people with disabilities have accessible means to raise their voices in […]

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We are delighted to announce that a little piece of US election history was created on October 16, 2019 when the first ever ranked choice vote was recorded on a mobile blockchain voting platform. The ballot was cast by a UOCAVA voter from Payson City in Utah County. Update: (11/24/19) – The Associated Press/Salt Lake Tribune has more here about the RCV pilot in Utah County. Here’s an earlier post on how the Voatz platform supports Ranked Choice Voting in a highly accessible manner. We are excited to see the expansion of RCV across the nation.

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We are delighted to announce the launch of new pilot programs with Jackson County and Umatilla County in Oregon that will provide mobile voting secured by the blockchain to deployed military personnel and overseas United States citizens during the 2019 general elections this year. We commend Jackson County and Umatilla County teams for seeking new, innovative technologies to improve our election infrastructure and provide secure, auditable, transparent voting options for voters. With this pilot program, Jackson County and Umatilla County are leading the effort in the State of Oregon to make voting more convenient and accessible for deployed military personnel and overseas US citizens. The latest developments in smartphone hardware, […]

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We are delighted to announce that Utah County has broadened the eligibility in the ongoing mobile voting pilot as part of the 2019 Municipal General Elections to include voters with disabilities, marking the first time mobile voting will be offered to U.S. citizens other than military and overseas voters. “This is the first election where we are expanding mobile voting for the disability community and providing them the option to vote from their mobile device,” said Bradley Tusk, founder and CEO of Tusk Philanthropies. “We are making voting accessible to new communities, increasing voter turnout, conducting new pilots and auditing that each election to ensure that votes cast over the blockchain […]

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When you vote, do you trust that your vote is counted? If you mail an absentee ballot, how do you know that it’s been received and counted accurately? Our mission is to make voting not only more accessible and secure, but also more transparent, auditable and accountable. How do we do that? We’ve built a way for voting to happen on the thing that many of you carry around in your pocket each day — your smartphone. Here, we share how it works for you, as the voter, to vote with your smartphone, how you can verify that your vote was counted, and how your Election Office can verify that all […]

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We are delighted to announce the launch of a new pilot program today with Utah County that will provide mobile voting secured by the blockchain to deployed military personnel and overseas United States citizens during the 2019 municipal elections this year. We commend the Utah County team for seeking new, innovative technologies to improve our election infrastructure and provide secure, auditable, transparent voting options for voters. With this pilot program, Utah County is leading the effort in the State of Utah to make voting more convenient and accessible for deployed military personnel and overseas US citizens. The latest developments in smartphone hardware, encryption and blockchain technology make mobile voting a […]

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XI’AN, CHINA — Michael Graney lives in Xi’an, a large city smack dab in the middle of Shaanxi, China. With bustling streets, air thick with pollution and mountains just visible through the haze, Xi’an is one of China’s oldest cities, an important cultural, industrial and educational epicenter. Michael is in his third year as a graduate student, here, studying Chinese sociology and culture. He lives in a small studio with wooden floors, wallpapered walls, sporadic electricity and a humble, all-in-one bathroom with a laundry machine. He spends most days on the move teaching, writing his thesis, or engaging with his community — air pollution permitting. ^Michael at a farm in […]

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VICENZA, ITALY — Scott Warner stares out the window, 1,200 feet above the ground, loud jet engines whirring in the background and wide expanse of earth stretching out along the distant, hazy horizon. Like a cavity in the bottom of a canyon, trees, specs of cattle, grasslands and hills pass by, peacefully threaded together by roads and waterways, woven together into the quiet makeup of a quilted landscape. Warner yells to his comrades and, in the midst of the commotion, catches a moment — here they are, all of them, floating above the surface and hovering, miraculously, in these moments between space and time. “WOOSH!” Suddenly the door opens and […]

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DENVER, CO — Two weeks ago, the City of Denver closed the polls for its Municipal elections. For the first time, it ran a pilot program with Voatz to allow overseas citizens, military personnel and their dependents to vote from their mobile devices. Military voters and citizens around the world were able to download the Voatz app, use their mobile devices to verify their identity, securely and anonymously cast their votes, and verify that their vote was counted correctly.   What is an audit? A post-election audit is a process to ensure that the equipment and procedures used to count votes during an election worked properly, and that the election […]

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ABUJA, NIGERIA — A new mobile application developed by Voatz was used by 16 female candidates during the Nigerian 2019 General Elections earlier this year. The application, called Women Influencing Nations, or WiN, is designed as a politically-oriented social media platform to help women candidates run for office. Using WiN, candidates are able to garner followers, share events and create posts, and even collect political donations via mobile money. The Voatz team traveled to Nigeria during the January campaign season to assist in the roll out of WiN. In partnership with UN Women, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and Mina’s List, Voatz helped lead a two-day training […]

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GUINEA, WEST AFRICA — Tucked away in a tiny village in the far corner of Guinea, Amiti Maloy lives in a one-room, roundly earthen hut with a thatched roof, no electricity, no running water and a semi-functional solar panel to charge her phone. Most days, it takes a village — literally — to charge her phone, dropping it by the local “charging station”, or a wooden outdoor stall where two young men run a generator to charge a majority of the village’s cell phones. Amiti is a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea. She spends most days teaching, leading hands-on educational camps and coaching soccer to a spirited squad of middle […]

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Buzz has been building in various corners of the United States around the concept of “Ranked Choice Voting”. What is it? How does it work? And how is it different from the current system where you vote for your favorite candidate, hope they win, and prepare for your supposed “worst”? At Voatz, we’re fascinated by varying methods for voting and mostly, working to ensure that the systems used to implement them are user-friendly, accessible and accurate when it comes to tabulating the mathematical calculations.   What is Ranked Choice Voting (RCV)? To you, the voter, Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is a relatively simple change to the way you vote. In […]

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When West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner took office in 2017, he instructed his staff to explore ways to make voting more convenient for military personnel, their families and civilians stationed or working abroad (UOCAVA voters). As an officer in the army, Secretary Warner experienced firsthand how difficult it is for soldiers and civilians abroad to vote and return a ballot in time to be counted. The statistics confirm the case: in 2016, the estimated voting participation rate for U.S. citizens living overseas was 6.9% compared to the 72% participation rate for citizens living in the United States. In early 2018, Secretary Warner launched the nation’s first mobile voting […]

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We are delighted to announce the launch of a new pilot program today with the City of Denver that will provide mobile voting secured by the blockchain to deployed military personnel and overseas United States citizens during the city’s municipal elections this spring. We commend the City of Denver for seeking new, innovative technologies to improve our election infrastructure and provide secure, auditable, transparent voting options for voters. With this pilot program, Denver is leading the effort to make voting more convenient and accessible for deployed military personnel and overseas US citizens. The latest developments in smartphone hardware, encryption and blockchain technology make mobile voting a reality. This is a […]

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While Virginians turned out in record numbers for the midterm election last year, more can be done to help the most disenfranchised voting demographic in the country: overseas citizens, military personnel and their family members stationed overseas. Delegates Larry Rush (R) and R. Steven Landes (R), and Sens. Bill DeSteph (R) and Mason Montgomery (D), should be commended for recently introducing bipartisan legislation in the General Assembly that would create pilot programs or have the State Board of Elections study how electronic forms of voting can help Virginia’s deployed military members, overseas citizens and their families more easily exercise their right to vote. Virginia has the third highest number of […]

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On February 2, 2019, the Michigan Democratic Party used the Voatz platform for delegate credentialing and voting in Detroit, Michigan. In under an hour, more than 2,000 delegates cast their votes for three contests. “Working with Voatz has streamlined our registration and voting processes,” the Director of Party Affairs said, “since we began with Voatz, we’ve dramatically reduced our wait times during credentialing and our members report higher satisfaction with the way ballots are cast.”   

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In November 2018, our Director of Product, Hilary Braseth, delivered a talk for the Women in Blockchain group in Boston, Massachusetts. The talk, “Elections & Blockchains: Can Technology Spark Democracy?”, explored the history and evolution of voter technology across the U.S. landscape, the four major challenges to a voting system, and a blockchain solution. The talk sparked a lively discussion along with great interest to learn more about our systems of voting and the applicability of blockchain.

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Charleston, W.Va. — Secretary of State Mac Warner is very pleased with the completion of the General Election pilot project that allowed deployed members of the military and overseas citizens to participate in our democracy by using a mobile voting application to cast ballots secured by blockchain technology. Warner is a 23-year veteran of the United States Army. While deployed in 2012 and 2014, Warner was not able to vote back home in West Virginia because reliable postal service was unavailable. Until now, absentee voters living out of the country have relied on paper ballot absentees or inconvenient electronic systems that require a printer, scanner or fax machine. Those processes […]

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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. “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 the democracy and blockchain space.

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The Voatz platform was used for credentialing and voting at the 2018 Massachusetts State GOP Convention in Worcester, where Massachusetts Governor Hon. Charlie Baker was one of the voters using the platform. For the first time, a state-of-the-art biometric security system was deployed for each of the 4 contested ballots, and more than 2000 delegates voted.  

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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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Nearly 2000 delegates interacted with the Voatz platform at the 2016 Massachusetts Democratic Party State Convention held at the Tsongas Center in Lowell MA on June 4, 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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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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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. Placing aside 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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