Terry Nguyen writing for The Washington Post:
Eligible voters will be able to cast their ballots through a mobile application that uses blockchain technology, which stores data on a decentralized database, meaning there’s no owner, allowing for more transparent transactions. Information is stored publicly, but to ensure privacy, West Virginia voters’ personal information will remain anonymous.
While the mobile voting may help with ballot accessibility and convenience, there have been concerns about its security. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has researched ways to improve overseas military voting with electronic technologies since 2008. Multiple studies by federal researchers have found that “Internet voting systems cannot currently be audited with a comparable level of confidence” to physical polling places, according to the institute’s site. Researchers cited the potential for malware on personal devices and concerns of voter authentication.
“There are many security issues in voting, and blockchain only addresses one of them. It just solves the problem of how do you make it an indelible record of the ballots after they’ve been cast by the voters,” said David Dill, a professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford University and founder of the nonprofit Verified Voting. Dill did not take part in the NIST research. “[Blockchain] doesn’t deal with authenticating the voters before the election … or the security problems on the voters’ devices.”
But that’s fine, though. It’s the blockchain!