[REGIONAL NEWS] Utah County puts blockchain voting to test in live audit

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By Jed Presgrove | govtech.com

Hand holding smart phone with online voting concept on screen.

Utah County, Utah, recently showcased live on Facebook how anyone can audit the authenticity of 24 municipal election votes that were cast overseas by eligible voters through the blockchain-based Voatz app.

The demonstration, which can be viewed here, describes publicly available electronic documents and tools that one can use to confirm the validity of overseas votes.

This auditing process allows users to examine single blocks within a blockchain to retrieve encrypted information, which can then be decoded to verify whether political candidates are receiving the votes they’re supposed to from voters across the world.

Amelia Powers Gardner, Utah County clerk/auditor, introduced the presentation by explaining why Voatz was chosen as a way to ensure that soldiers and citizens traveling overseas have the option of a secure, anonymous vote. Through a research-intensive effort, her office has updated its “elections process from beginning to end.” One reason for this initiative was that Utah County did not want to see “four- and five-hour lines” as it did during the 2018 presidential election. More specifically, Gardner realized overseas voting required a substantial overhaul.

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