Voatz, a mobile voting and citizen engagement platform, was one of 15 innovative projects that took part in the U.S. Census Bureau’s technology Demo Day.
The demonstration showed how the Census Bureau can learn from some of the mobile voting pilot projects conducted by Voatz in advance of the 2020 census — which will be the first one every conducted digitally — to increase accessibility and enhance identity and data security.
The tech demos were a part of a collaborative effort between various government agencies, nongovernment organizations and technology companies called “The Opportunity Project”.
Voatz, along with other participants that included Redfin and Visa, looked to help the census solve the problem of engaging hard-to-count populations, and to help promote the 2020 census by bridging the digital divide.
“We’ve been honored to collaborate on the future of the U.S. census, leveraging our recent pilot successes in the mobile voting space to devise possibilities for the future of increasing accessibility, securing identity and data entry for the Census,” said Voatz Co-Founder & CEO Nimit Sawhney. “We’re looking forward to future collaborations as the U.S. Census Bureau continues to explore innovative measures for securing data and identity,” he added.
Earlier this year, Voatz conducted several pilots of its platform in counties across the United States, including locations in Denver, Utah and Oregon. They used secured tablets and smartphones to enable citizens to vote in various elections in those counties, and also worked to expand absentee voting for U.S. military personnel deployed overseas.
The Voatz platform, which uses blockchain technology along with encryption and biometrics, aims to increase the security of election systems while making them more accessible as well as easier to audit.
In another successful pilot conducted by Voatz in 2018, deployed military personnel and overseas U.S. citizens from 24 counties in West Virginia were able to vote in the federal midterm elections, marking the first time mobile voting secured by a blockchain-based infrastructure was used in a U.S. Federal Election.