This Company’s One Small Step By Device Is One Giant Leap For The Disenfranchised.

No more Games. Use a device (or computer) to cast your ballot.

Woman working with an Apple laptop on her lap and iphone in her hand
Woman working with an Apple laptop on her lap and iphone in her hand
Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash

It’s time to vote by mobile device.

In 2020, the election had the largest voter turnout in history. In the race between soon to be president, Joe Biden, and then incumbent, Donald J. Trump, close to 160 million voters cast a ballot.

The mood across the country as of this writing is anxious as President Trump took all media forms to claim election fraud that caused a insurrection by his supporters. By now we all saw what happened at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 6th. And now we know why this election was the most critical we’ve seen in our 240 year history. The outcome will determine the country’s path for decades to come as it already has.

Trump went to extraordinary lengths to try and debunk election results. He took to Twitter, Facebook, Parler, and any other media outlet that was willing to do his bidding. The problem is regular Americans are counting votes themselves. We rely on election officials to do the tally, report the findings, and carry out what’s written in The Constitution.

And with a president that questions everything we stand, and have stood for, his free will now clouds what we feel we can and cannot trust. No one likes uncertainty. And no one likes feeling helpless. Certainly not during a pandemic and economic free fall. Those two ingredients alone make for an angry brew.

Needless to say, patience is a bitch. That said, we need a more structured, clear-eyed voting system that can no longer be tempered by past disenfranchisement tactics. The digital revolution is well underway, and although still in it’s infancy, it can deliver scope, security, and transparency to our electoral process. It will not be easy by any means for we will always have foreign adversaries testing technical boundaries, but it’s time to move swiftly toward the efficiency, security, and accessibility that mobile voting provides.

And thanks to a small start-up out of Boston, MA, your councils, representatives, and president, will be elected through an app sooner than you think.

Democracy by Device

Voatz, Inc. delivers mobile voting solutions on personal smart devices and web-based computers at the polls. No more long wait lines, manual counts, voter intimidation, or sewn confusion about whose won what where.

Built-In Boston’s Quinten Dol interviewed Voatz’s CEO, Nimit Sawhney where Sawhney said his company has invested heavily so voters can expect counts to be accurate, auditable, not to mention secure while maintaining voter anonymity and the country’s democracy.

Disenfranchised voters who are either disabled, in the military, or live overseas can download an app and choose who they want in congress, the white house, or any other office. Only 7 percent of 3 million overseas citizens vote; studies show this rate would increase to 37 percent.” — Nimit Sawhney, CEO of Voatz, inc.

Think about that and what casting a ballot via smart device or laptop could mean, not only for the military and overseas voters, but also for minorities and the disenfranchised who feel vulnerable to intimidation, not to mention, weather, standing in a poll line for hours.

A Marine sitting in front of her house.
A Marine sitting in front of her house.
Photo by Jessica Radanavong on Unsplash

Voatz’s digital platform is the only one to meet four key criteria — security, confirming voter identity, accessibility, and audits (definitely not Twitter or Facebook). While Voatz uses end-to-end encryption for security, block-chain technology secures votes on multiple restricted-access, geographically-distributed servers that eliminate potential tampering with ballot counts.

Also, Voatz enacts biometric verification, or face recognition technology, to verify you are who you say you are. That data is then paired to your devices’ security PIN maintaining voter privacy. To be clear, Voatz claims your information is never stored or shared.

As of today, Voatz’s technology was deployed overseas in over 30 countries in both Democratic and Republican elections. Locations include Denver, Co, Delaware, West Virginia, New Jersey, Utah County, UT, Umatilla County, OR, Jackson County, OR, King County, WA, to mention a few. Contests were not for president, but local run-offs, special elections, and hyper-local contests.

Mobile is “the Moment” We Need to Meet

An outpouring of volunteers stepped it up at the polls during this election and the stories are inspiring. A close friend volunteered in Oceanside, CA at the Roosevelt Middle a School — a multi-district, or “super”, polling center. He helped an officer’s handicapped mother cast her ballot. He assisted a blind teen who was voting for the very first time (The kid thanked the the poll workers with cookies). And after the polls closed, he stayed late into the early morning hours to count the votes.

That said, mobile voting will have its own story to tell, the most important of which is how a more complete electorate including the disabled, military, native populations, and Americans stationed around the world brought our nation one step closer to a Perfect Union.

Check out these interesting reads by Anthony Fireman:

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