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US State of Virginia Legislature Looks to Blockchain for Elections

US State of Virginia Legislature Looks to Blockchain for Elections

In the United States, Virginia’s state legislature looks to study blockchain to improve elections and voting.

Prefiled on Dec. 27 and scheduled for offering on Jan. 8, a new bill requesting further study into blockchain-based elections has emerged in Virginia’s General Assembly. The bill, House Joint Resolution 23, asks the Department of Elections to determine whether blockchain technology should be considered to secure voter records and election results.

What the bill could mean for Virginia’s elections

The bill’s patron is state delegate and cybersecurity specialist Hala Ayala (D-51). It is currently waiting for committee assignment, and will have a long road ahead of it on its way to potentially becoming law. However, it could change the way a state of over eight million people votes.

Per the bill’s current tenets, the department will also have to determine whether the costs and benefits of using blockchain technology outweigh those of traditional registration and election security measures. The department is also expected to make recommendations on how to implement the technology.

Blockchain voting elsewhere in the U.S.

Neighboring state, West Virginia, was the first state to offer blockchain-based mobile voting in a federal election. In May 2018, West Virginia’s primary completed the first government-run, blockchain-supported vote in United States history.

Since then, the city of Denver, Colorado and Utah County, Utah have both conducted successful mobile voting pilots.

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