W. Va. to use blockchain-based mobile app for mid-term voting

West Virginia this fall will let members of the military and their families deployed overseas to vote by smartphone or tablet using a blockchain-based app developed by a Salt Lake City start-up, Voatz.

The voters using the app would otherwise have to submit paper absentee ballots via mail or vote over a land line telephone.

The move means the state will become the first in the U.S. to use blockchain in a voting system in a general election.

After being elected in January 2017, West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner  tasked IT staff to investigate mobile voting options for 8,000 West Virginian military members overseas. Warner, a retired U.S. Army officer with four children who are also all current or former Army officers, cited his own inability to vote when deployed in Afghanistan as one reason for his efforts.

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