More governments in the US are offering the ability to vote by smartphone now. West Virginia’s governor is ready to sign a bill requiring that all counties offer people with disabilities a way to vote online, just in time for the 2020 presidential election. It would be the first state to allow the option. Secretary of State Mac Warner said it would most likely offer the mobile app Voatz, like it did when it previously allowed online voting for overseas troops.
Warner says that Voatz worked well in the 2018 midterms and was going through an audit for consideration, though security researchers have cautioned against using it or other voting apps. There are concerns that its web server and blockchain implementations weren’t very secure, and that the private source code made it harder to find vulnerabilities. There was an attempt to hack the mobile voting system in 2018, but we don’t know how successful that was.
The decision involved a calculated risk. While an outside entity could try to disrupt online voting, this could also help people who otherwise wouldn’t cast ballots. So they have to balance security with helping a certain segment of the population to be able to cat their vote easier.