The solution was going to be presented to be used in upcoming state elections.
In recent investigations, Voatz, the application created in blockchain for the election of authorities in the United States of America, was declared to be very vulnerable to conduct real voting, according to what local media report. As planned, this tool was to be used in the coming elections in West Virginia.
According to a review published by NBC News, last Saturday, February 29th, some authorities denied the presence of the blockchain solution for the state’s primary elections. Hence, the news was also disclosed by Mac Warner, Secretary of State for the region. In his statements, Warner mentioned that all those people who are out of state or have a disability can use Democracy Live, an online system that allows these people with limitations to vote using their email. Besides, the secretary stressed that no citizen will use mobile apps for these elections, so Voatz was discarded.
In early 2019, the West Virginia region would have approved the introduction of legislative changes that would help implement digital voting systems throughout the state. Months after its legalization, the application of Voatz was successfully tested in a general election. Due to the results, the company would have won a contract with the authorities for its app to be used again in this year 2020, according to NBC sources.
Despite this authorization, the solution was rejected for the elections due to investigations that focused on identity security, inter alia. The results of these studies, conducted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), found that all internal processes of the application result to be very vulnerable to certain attacks that hackers can perform. This is something that seriously compromises the security of the elections. According to the investigation data revealed, if used Voatz, hackers could have access to the identities of the people who vote in the state and even alter the results.
Although this information was disclosed, DHS through its division of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said that Voatz had not suffered any attack of this nature, reaffirming that the app worked without problems in the last year’s voting. Because of this, the company promised to continue strengthening its security system to give the app greater confidence for the future. Some representatives of Voatz also said they will pay special interest in the recommendations made by DHS.
On the other hand, it was known that one of the electoral auditors, who supervised the development of Voatz during the electoral process of 2019, argued that there is only one error on the app that cannot be exploited by hackers to damage the process so the system is not completely vulnerable.
Regarding more direct opinions on the use of these types of solutions, the Secretary of State General Counsel highlighted that the opinion of citizens should be taken into account regarding the confidence they have in the use of such technologies.
By María Rodríguez