Denver is hopping on the app-based voting bandwagon ahead of the 2020 elections.

For its mayoral election in May of this year, Denver will be allowing some residents to cast their votes using the blockchain-based app Voatz. Denver is not the first locality to use Voatz – it is joining West Virginia, which used the app for the 2018 midterm elections. The app uses smartphones, facial recognition, multifactor authentication, and blockchain technology. While supporters of the app stress its security and safety measures, critics feel it has too many potential risks.

As with West Virginia, Denver will allow active-duty members of the military, their families, and Denver residents living abroad to use the app.

“This pilot enables us to offer that convenience for our military and overseas citizens who have the most difficult time voting and participating in the democratic process here at home,” said Deputy Elections Director Jocelyn Bucaro.

The Denver Post reported that 80 people have already signed up for the pilot with a few months to go before the election. The pilot program is free for Denver, with funding provided by Tusk Philanthropies and the National Cybersecurity Center.

“If the pilot is successful, we’re hoping other cities in Colorado…might consider using it in some of their local elections,” Bucaro said.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs