Voatz and Clear Ballot to Explore Blockchain Technology for Remote Voting

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After more than a year of investigation and collaboration, two Boston-based companies, Voatz and Clear Ballot Group,  have announced a partnership to accelerate the introduction of secure, accessible remote voting in elections using Blockchain technology.

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Voatz brings an open source Blockchain platform designed for secure, high volume remote voting on smartphones and tablets. It has been independently evaluated for security and has already been piloted successfully in several private and municipal elections in 2016.

Clear Ballot, a voting system company, has provided the Voatz team with election industry knowledge, market requirements and a rich sample election dataset that allows their engineers to understand and build support for the complexities and scale of real elections.

Key portions of the user interface and the Voatz backend technology will be demonstrated at the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) meetings held at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. from February 15-17, 2017.

Nimit Sawhney, Co-Founder and CEO of Voatz said:

“Both companies recognize that there are a number of questions that must be adequately addressed before a large-scale deployment of remote voting is possible.  These include end-to-end verification, voter anonymity, authentication, security, cost, ease of deployment, scalability, user experience and most importantly – Both companies recognize that there are a number of questions that must be adequately addressed before a large-scale deployment of remote voting is possible.  These include end-to-end verification, voter anonymity, authentication, security, cost, ease of deployment, scalability, user experience and most importantly –

These include end-to-end verification, voter anonymity, authentication, security, cost, ease of deployment, scalability, user experience and most importantly – public trust.  I strongly believe that this partnership puts us in a great position to address these challenges to enable millions of citizens to benefit from the convenience and security offered by this new technology paradigm.”

Larry Moore, Founder and CEO of Clear Ballot said:

“Innovation in elections takes too long and there are too many barriers to entry in this market. I am convinced that the fastest way to accelerate election innovation is for voting system companies, like Clear Ballot, to help promising new technology companies with technical support, election industry knowledge, regulatory requirements and market access.  An example is that people want to vote on their smartphone. Two of the challenges to remote voting have been security and accessibility. Blockchain technology coupled with smartphones and tablets have the potential to solve these problems, but this pairing must be rigorously assessed before widespread deployment.  With this partnership, we break down the barriers to entry and begin the innovation cycle to address the need for secure, accessible, remote voting.”

“Imagine the convenience to registered voters who receive a sample ballot on their smartphone and make their selections using the familiar accessible features of an app on their smartphone. Then, when the polls open, they bring their smartphone with their pre-marked ballot to the polling location. By building the app on the Blockchain architecture, it is not a great leap to imagine the voter not having to make the trip at all.”

Working together, Voatz and Clear Ballot are tackling the complex problem of secure, accessible remote voting.

Voatz is an award winning early stage startup based in the Boston area. Its innovative and highly secure mobile voting platform has been used by nearly 40,000 voters in various elections and voting events in multiple jurisdictions around the world including several pilot projects involving Participatory Budget Voting. The Voatz platform focuses on providing cutting-edge security alongside an easy to use interface to enable voters to make their voices heard in a convenient manner. Voatz has been recognized with several recent awards some of which include the 2016 MIT Startup Spotlight Cult Favorite Prize, the 1st Prize at SXSW Citrix Hackathon, the Mass Innovation Nights Audience Favorite Prize and was recently selected for the 2017 Techstars Startup Accelerator program in Boston. Learn more on voatz.com.

Boston-based, Clear Ballot was founded in 2009 and is the leader in election management innovation. Clear Ballot has introduced a new class of tools and a modern approach to voting with the speed, accuracy, and transparency that has been lacking in the industry for decades. Designed for ease-of-use, Clear Ballot’s browser-based software, used with commercially available scanning hardware, scales to election jurisdictions of all sizes and responds directly to the budgetary realities of America’s counties and municipalities. Clear Ballot election technology is certified for use in Oregon, Washington and New York and is also used to conduct audits in Vermont, Florida and Maryland. Clear Ballot and Maryland conducted the nation’s first 100% automated, independent statewide audit for the 2016 Presidential Election. For more information about Clear Ballot please visit: www.clearballot.com.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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