Voatz confirms that on October 25, 2018, there was an unsuccessful attempt to gain entry into the Voatz system during the West Virginia mobile voting pilot for the 2018 U.S. Federal Midterm Election. The attempt was detected, blocked and reported in detail to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office. We want to re-emphasize that this attempt targeted our live system and not our replica system made available to researchers as part of our Bug Bounty program.
While probes into IT systems and general infrastructure across the nation are fairly common, as of January 2017, the Department of Homeland Security designated election infrastructure as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, a section under DHS’s Government Facilities Sector. As a result, any attempts to tamper with or break into a live election system are illegal.
Voatz continues to remain vigilant and committed to following industry standard best practices around information security, and partnering with jurisdiction and law enforcement officials to ensure that our election infrastructure remains protected. Voatz is duty bound to continue to report any attempts to breach or tamper with the live system to our clients. Please note that any action taken subsequently by our clients is outside our purview.
Charleston, W.Va. — Secretary of State Mac Warner is very pleased with the completion of the General Election pilot project that allowed deployed members of the military and overseas citizens to participate in our democracy by using a mobile voting application to cast ballots secured by blockchain technology.
Warner is a 23-year veteran of the United States Army. While deployed in 2012 and 2014, Warner was not able to vote back home in West Virginia because reliable postal service was unavailable. Until now, absentee voters living out of the country have relied on paper ballot absentees or inconvenient electronic systems that require a printer, scanner or fax machine. Those processes are very difficult and nearly impossible for soldiers to take advantage of while stationed in remote areas of the world.
According to a 2018 report by the Federal Voting Assistance Program, only 6.9 percent of eligible soldiers and overseas citizens cast a ballot in the 2016 Presidential General Election. With his personal experience in mind and stats that proved the problem is vast, one of Secretary Warner’s first challenges to his Elections Division was to eliminate the hurdles in overseas voting that contributed to the very low voter participation rate for our deployed military and overseas citizens.
Prior to the May 2018 Primary Election, the State of West Virginia partnered with Tusk Montgomery Ventures (TMV) and engaged a technology developer from Boston, Massachusetts to pilot their revolutionary mobile voting application. The company, Voatz Inc., created a system that utilizes biometric identity verification and blockchain technology to offer voters a secure option to vote through their mobile application.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, military and overseas citizens were able to cast ballots in a federal election using a mobile device. If this technology were not available, many of those soldiers and citizens would not have had the opportunity to participate in our democracy. This pilot will provide actual voting transactions for the independent auditors to review and analyze the first deployment of blockchain technology in an American election,” Warner said.
Read The Full Announcement Here
Several news publications also covered the pilot completion and you can access some of them via the links below:
We are delighted and honored to be a small part of this effort led by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office to make voting easier and safer for our deployed military service members, their families and U.S. citizens living overseas.
We are delighted and humbled to formally announce that a piece of history was created on March 23, 2018 when the first mobile blockchain vote in U.S. Primary Federal Election History was recorded on the Voatz platform.
V Block 25626