The COVID-19 pandemic has helped to accelerate adoption of online, mobile-based voting, and in turn the technology is reshaping the democratic process, suggest developments in Utah’s primary contests.
As Cache Valley Daily reports, both the Democratic and Republican parties in the state have opted to use technology from Voatz in their primary elections. The system allows voters to cast their ballots through their mobile devices, with its use of blockchain technology and biometric authentication helping to ensure trust in the electoral process – a crucial element of the platform’s success after many years of stagnation in the adoption of online voting, as Voatz VP Larry Moore explained to the news outlet.
“Smartphones now have biometric authentication capabilities, using fingerprint scanners and facial recognition, plus high-resolution cameras capable of verifying credential like driver’s licenses and passports. So, those devices allow a substantial leap forward in the process of voter-verification,” he said.
Together with the context of an ongoing pandemic that has prompted intensive social distancing efforts, these developments have pushed political organizers to finally embrace the mobile voting concept, Moore suggested.
In turn, Voatz’s technology is changing the democratic process itself: the platform is built on a ranked ballot system, meaning that voters get to select a first choice, a second choice, and so on; the lowest-ranked candidates are subsequently eliminated, with vote allocations being reshuffled based on agglomerated voter preferences.
This is a quirk of Voatz, but other online voting platforms are also emerging, such as Neuvote — which boasts sophisticated mobile biometrics from specialist FaceTec. It all suggests that there may be a broader breakthrough in store for biometrically secured mobile voting beyond the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Source: Cache Valley Daily
April 24, 2020 – by Alex Perala