West Virginia Dumps Blockchain-Based Voting App Voatz Due To Security Issues
Authorities in West Virginia have declared that the region may no longer practice the Voatz blockchain-based voting application due to security concerns indicated by researchers at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), according to an NBC report on February 28, 2020.
Voatz Endures Setback in West Virginia
As per sources close to the matter, Mac Warner, West Virginia Secretary of State, has made it apparent that people living with disabilities and eligible voters residing abroad will no longer be permitted to cast their votes through the Voatz blockchain-based voting app remotely.
Instead, they will be capable of voting utilizing a from the stables of Democracy Live, which will allow them to vote online or print out a ballot paper and mail it to the proper agency after they must have cast their votes.
In April 2019, reports surfaced that the U.S. state of West Virginia will use Voatz, to allow abroad residents to vote through their smartphones during the 2020 presidential elections, having triumphantly conducted the system in the November 2018 midterm elections.
Reportedly, on February 5, 2020, West Virginia went forward to pass a law that mandates divisions to make it feasible for voters with disabilities to obtain a ballot electronically beginning from the forthcoming May 12, 2020, primary elections.
Researchers Discover Loopholes in Voatz App
Nevertheless, some security matters pointed out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as other entities have made West Virginia authorities step back on the use of the innovative Voatz solution.
It’s worth heeding that security experts, including Joseph Lorenzo, have since denounced the idea of mobile voting, reporting it as a “horrific idea.”
As reported on February 14, 2020, a team of researchers at MIT, including Michael Specter and Daniel Weitzner, MIT Internet Policy Research Initiative Director revealed that there are severe vulnerability difficulties in the Voatz app that could enable a bad actor to tamper with voters’ choices, thereby disrupting the integrity of elections.
Although the Voatz team have said categorically in its official statement on February 13, 2020, that the verdicts of the MIT researchers are no longer adequate, since they utilized an old-fashioned version of the Voatz app to carry out their research, West Virginia has determined to abandon Voatz altogether due to fears it might destroy voters confidence to some extent.