Utah County has officially become the third US jurisdiction to take advantage of Voatz’s mobile voting technology. The County will conduct a trial run during its municipal primary election in August, allowing active-duty military and overseas voters to weigh in using their smartphones.
To use Voatz, eligible voters must first request an absentee ballot, and then verify their identities through the application using biometric authentication. Voatz also leverages blockchain technology to ensure secure elections. The Utah County pilot is the result of a partnership between the Utah County Elections Division, Voatz, Tusk Philanthropies, and the National Cybersecurity Center.
“The momentum for mobile voting is very real and supports our theory that when you show people a much better way to do something, there becomes a demand for it,” said Tusk Philanthropies Founder and CEO Bradley Tusk. “We have to continue to remove as many barriers and hurdles as possible so more people are able to participate in our democracy.”
Voatz has previously been deployed in elections in West Virginia and Denver, Colorado. Mobile voting proved to be particularly popular for the latter, with a post-election survey finding that 100 percent of respondents preferred secure mobile voting to the alternatives. More recently, Voatz received $7 million in series-A funding.
Mobile voting will be available to Utah citizens voting in local elections in the towns of Eagle Mountain, Highland, Lehi, Mapleton, Orem, Pleasant Grove, Santaquin, and Springville, in addition to those voting for City Council seats 3 and 4 in Provo. Voting began on June 28th and will continue through Election Day on August 13.