Denver to test blockchain voting app funded by Michael Bloomberg’s ex-campaign manager

The city of Denver is set to test a blockchain voting app for military and overseas voters, which is being funded by Michael Bloomberg's ex-campaign manager

The city of Denver, Colorado will trial a blockchain-based voting app for military and overseas voters during the 2019 municipal election cycle.

The announcement was made on the Denver Elections Twitter page. The app is called ‘Voatz’ and utilises blockchain encryption to provide security and convenience for people who are unable to vote in person.

Voatz has been piloted in West Virginia 

The announcement details how the Denver Elections Division will be soliciting volunteers from their pool of military and overseas voters to pilot a secure and convenient smartphone application.

It will allow voters to receive and cast their ballot directly from their smartphone during the election cycle.

Voters wishing to participate in the pilot must first undergo identity verification through the app. This will include a 10-second “selfie” video alongside photo identification.

Voters will also need to go through a “multifactor biometric authentication” process to access the app and cast their ballot.

Upon submitting a ballot, voters will receive an email receipt with a PDF of their ballot image so they can confirm the information has been recorded correctly.

Voatz has been successfully piloted by the state of West Virginia during the 2018 Primary and General Elections.

Funded by Bradley Tusk – Michael Bloomberg’s ex-campaign manager

Quartz also reported that Bradley Tusk – ex-campaign manager for Michael Bloomberg – will be funding the project. It estimated the funding will be roughly $180,000 and will not cost the city of Denver a penny.

Deputy director of elections, Jocelyn Bucaro, commented: “Denver has always been on the leading edge of elections and technical innovation, and participating in this pilot affirms our commitment to exploring ways to make the voting experience as convenient as possible for military and overseas voters.”

In addition to working with Voatz, Denver Elections will also be partnering with Tusk Philanthropies and the National Cyber Security Center on the pilot program.

Denver Elections will be utilising the application in both the May 7th municipal election as well as the possible June 4th run-off election.

Interested in reading more about the Voatz app? Discover more about how it was piloted in West Virginia last year.

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