In partnership with Tusk Philanthropies, the city of Denver Colorado will pilot a blockchain-based mobile voting app in its next municipal election in May. A March 7 press release announced that the app will be available to eligible overseas voters, active-duty military personnel, and their dependents.
Tusk Philanthropies CEO Bradley Tusk suggested that recent low voter turnout and growing polarization has created dysfunction that can only be resolved with increased voter participation:
"The one thing everyone agrees on is that our democracy is broken, and politicians make policy decisions based on political inputs and usually nothing else. With turnout this low in national elections, of course we're stuck with rampant polarization and dysfunction. That only changes if turnout soars. That only happens if we move into the 21st century and let people use the tool already in their pockets: their phone.
Blockchain makes it secure and feasible. And the Denver Elections Division deserves a tremendous amount of credit for being one of the first to implement an innovative and convenient solution to fix the underlying issues in our government."
The pilot program is the result of a collaborative effort involving Denver, Denver County, Tusk Philanthropies, the Voatz mobile elections platform, and the National Cybersecurity Center. To use the app, eligible voters need to opt in on their smartphones, complete a request for absentee ballot, and authenticate their identity through the Voatz application. Every step can be completed electronically on the voter’s smartphone.
Authenticated eligible voters will be able to submit their electronic ballots from March 23 until 7 PM on May 7.