Blockchain technology allows information to be recorded in a way that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to change information or hack into the system. Think of a blockchain as a digital ledger. Information is recorded in this ledger, copied and distributed across a network of computer systems providing a series of checks and balances to keep data secure.
The pilot program is only a test of the technology to provide the City and our residents an experience with it by using a mobile voting platform outside of an election environment. It will not affect the results of an actual election.
For Chandler’s bond election in November, as well as future elections, voters will continue to mail in their ballots, drop them off at a voting center or complete a ballot in-person at a voting center.
Chandler is the Community of Innovation and we’re constantly looking at the way we deliver services. The pilot program will result in a report and audit of the results to the City Council in December 2021.
The Chandler City Council approved a budget amendment in its FY 2019-20 budget that began in July 2019 to research using blockchain technology applications for mobile voting. Since then, Chandler’s City Clerk and City Attorney have had conversations with election officials in other states to learn about their experiences using mobile voting in elections. They also have discussed mobile voting with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office twice in the past two years and learned that the County wasn’t interested in considering that option at this time.
- On the heels of participating in a traditional election – this program could provide an opportunity for residents to experience blockchain technology by voting via a mobile device
- It would offer an opportunity to gauge community preferences for a mobile voting option in future elections
- This pilot could provide current and future voters the opportunity to experience an innovative way to vote
- This pilot also would enable the City of Chandler to obtain experience using functions of blockchain technology on a mobile voting platform such as voter verification and audit reporting – prior to it being conducted in a real election
The City of Chandler conducts its elections through the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office and we are not equipped to conduct our own elections. Chandler is a technology hub and we’re constantly looking at innovations in the way we deliver services. This proposal is simply a test to provide the City and our residents an experience with blockchain technology on a mobile voting platform outside of an election environment. The test will not affect the results of the upcoming bond election or any future City elections.
To sign up for the Voatz app, voters will need to provide the following:
- Valid email address
- Valid mobile number
To get verified as an eligible voter remotely, voters will need to scan the following inside the app:
- A government-issued photo ID document
- A live selfie
Once voter identity and eligibility are fully verified, the ID scan and selfie are deleted (typically within 24-48 hours). This information is not used for any other purpose whatsoever.
State-of-the-art encryption techniques, including end-to-end encryption, are used to secure data transmission as well as secure data storage. The pilot platform utilizes a highly resilient and tamper-resistant blockchain-based infrastructure. The security keys are distributed amongst multiple stakeholders (including jurisdiction staff members) so as to minimize the chances of any accidental data leakage or insider attacks.
Chandler elections are conducted through the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office so offering a mobile voting option in the future would need to be considered in partnership with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office.
This pilot provides an opportunity to experience blockchain technology for mobile voting outside of an election process. This pilot is intended to offer the City insight regarding a mobile voting process and gauge interest among residents to determine if a mobile voting option is desired in the future.
It’s premature to assume if a mobile voting option would be provided in future elections and who would be the provider of such a platform.
Today, voters can mail in their ballot, drop it off at a voting center or complete a ballot at a voting center. This test of the technology offers experience if mobile voting were to become another option in the future.
Voatz has experience using blockchain technology for mobile voting services in actual elections in other states and they are willing to work with us to offer this demonstration pilot. This test is being conducted outside of an election process. The agreement approved by the Chandler City Council with Voatz is to conduct this technology pilot after the bond election has concluded. The results from the technology pilot will not influence the outcome of that election.