Who benefits from mobile voting?

While the pandemic has highlighted the desperate need for better remote voting options in the United States and other parts of the world, for many groups this lack of options is not a new concern. Voters with disabilities, overseas military personnel, Native Americans, and so many others lack equal access to the ballot during every single election – COVID-19 has only exacerbated an existing problem. Offering well-tested alternatives to traditional in-person and mail-in voting methods serves only to make our elections more equal and fair.

Bottom line: All citizens deserve access to a safe, secure, and accessible method of voting remotely – mobile voting can help us get there. 

To experience a full download of this graphic—with detailed explanations of how each demographic can benefit from mobile voting – click the button below.

Statement on Amicus Brief

Nathan Van Buren, Petitioner v. United States

Voatz was named in an amicus brief dated July 8, 2020, advocating on behalf of “good faith” researchers and “white hat” hackers to be allowed the free and unfettered ability to attack live systems without identifying themselves or adhering to guidelines.

Voatz’s response to this brief is an effort to provide the Supreme Court with context and evidence surrounding the Voatz example used in the brief. We also provide our experience on the potential impact of a ruling that would challenge efforts to distinguish between good-faith and malicious attacks on critical infrastructure. During a live election, we should be squarely focused on securing the platform; allowing an unfettered, unannounced ability to attack live critical infrastructure and to distinguish between “good” attackers vs “bad” attackers would be a burden that undermines that focus. 

The Voatz platform has benefited greatly from our work with researchers when those researchers have worked collaboratively through consulting arrangements, “bug bounty” programs, and other authorized engagements. We have witnessed first hand the role of collaboration in evolving our platform, and in our mission of making voting secure and accessible for anyone disenfranchised by current methods of voting. We are deeply committed to ensuring that our relationship with researchers is one of mutual respect. It is within this context that technology can be appropriately developed, piloted, and deployed.  

Contrary to claims in the amicus brief filed by the Computer Security Researchers, Electronic Frontier Foundation, unauthorized research can be detrimental to innovation in technologies identified as critical infrastructure—in this case, electronic ballot marking and return. Allowing for unauthorized research in the form of hacks/attacks on live systems would lead to uncertain and potentially faulty results or conclusions, would make distinguishing between true researchers and malicious hackers difficult, and would unnecessarily burden the mandate of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Furthermore, there is simply no rationale for such access where, as described above, computer researchers can conduct security research using authorized research processes already in place (such as bug bounty programs and advanced replica systems that mirror live systems) in coordination with organizations or their customers. 


  1. Voatz collaborates with a wide range of credible organizations and individuals as a reflection of its mission to provide a secure mobile voting platform. This includes engagement with independent third-party security firms, and independent white-hat researchers who participate through its bug bounty program, a methodology that is used by a majority of tech companies and secure entities, including the Department of Defense.
  1. Setting the conditions for access to computer systems that are created and maintained at great expense is just as reasonable as setting conditions for entry onto physical premises. A nuclear power plant may offer tours to the public, but if a member of a tour group goes beyond that limited authorized access and attempts to sneak into the control room, they can be prosecuted for trespassing. The same is true for virtually every other piece of physical critical infrastructure, whether it be banks, airports, or military bases. This logic should be applied to the nation’s computer systems created and maintained for critical infrastructure and in this case specifically, elections.
  1. While the Computer Researchers portray themselves as under threat of being victimized for inadvertently tripping over a restriction, the reality is different: they wish to be free to deliberately infiltrate a live system in violation of readily accessible terms, openly publish any results obtained without adhering to coordinated disclosure policies, and be immune from being intercepted or reported under contract for doing so. There is simply no rationale for such access where, as described above, computer researchers can conduct security research using authorized research processes already in place (such as bug bounty programs and advanced replica systems that mirror live systems) in coordination with organizations or their customers.  

Michigan Democratic Party Completes Successful Virtual Convention with the Help of Mobile Voting App Voatz

BOSTON and LANSING, Mich., Sept. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Voatz, the Boston-based mobile voting platform, today announced the successful completion of a first-of-its-kind virtual convention with the Michigan Democratic Party. This year’s convention was the first to virtually nominate candidates for the state Supreme Court, among other elected positions, for the November ballot.

Forced to participate from their homes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 2,000 delegates both submitted signature nominations and voted for their preferred candidates on the mobile app downloaded to their smartphones. Besides the Michigan Supreme Court, candidates were nominated to the state Board of Education and boards at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. Roughly 91 percent of 2,092 credentialed delegates participated. 

This milestone marks the fourth convention that the Michigan Democratic Party has completed in collaboration with Voatz, with the prior three conventions occurring on-site in Lansing and Detroit and using the Voatz tablet voting system. This prior collaboration contributed to a smooth transition to an all-virtual convention for the party without disruption, and marks yet another compelling case for the benefit of piloting technology options that make elections resilient. 

“There were so many unique challenges with this year’s convention because of the pandemic, but the Voatz platform eased many of our concerns,” said Christy Jensen, Executive Director of the Michigan Democratic Party. “Voatz enabled our delegates to be verified remotely and participate through their smartphones. The convenience, safety and accessibility of voting this way was eye-opening for everyone who participated.”

Voatz’s staff worked closely with the party to ensure voter education, training, and a smooth rollout of the platform for all users. The platform was also built in cooperation with disability rights advocates, including accommodations for the visually impaired. Those who did not use the Voatz app had access to voting through a help desk. 

“We’ve always enjoyed working with the Michigan Democratic Party and this time, are proud to have helped them with their first-ever virtual convention,” said Voatz Co-Founder and CEO Nimit Sawhney. “These are such uncertain times in so many regards, including voting, and we wanted to ensure a seamless remote experience. We’re happy to have seen such positive turnout from thousands of voters, who were able to cast their votes safely and securely.”

About Voatz
Voatz is an award-winning mobile elections platform that leverages cutting-edge technology (including biometrics and a blockchain-based infrastructure) to increase access and security in elections. Since 2016 Voatz has run 70 elections with cities, universities, towns, nonprofits, and both major state political parties for convention voting. Learn more here.

About the Michigan Democratic Party
The Michigan Democratic Party fights for families, seniors, students and veterans, and works to elect Democrats across the state while holding Republicans accountable across the board.