We will start off asking a really basic question (looking at you Utah): Why do states, a select few more than others, continue to run "pilot" programs? Pilot programs that can fundementally change their state, that can and do remove privacy and freedom. Why would a state jump on voting pilot programs? (Side note we'll have a post dedicated just to Pilot Programs in Utah soon)
A document to just take a little peek at before you really get going is here- A security analysis of VOATZ
Would it not be wise to observe and see how these, in some cases, extreme ideas/programs etc behave and turnout?
Now we are sure you're asking "but surely they get the publics vote on these before installing them?" We sadly can report that no, no indeed they do not.
They will argue that you (the people they are supposed to represent) needed to show up to every council meeting about this, and interim oh and special sessions if applicable... oh and regular session etc. Until recently were many of you watching all these meetings? Did you even know there was an interim session? (Some of us have jobs)
So lets ask some questions:
Here is a bit about the good ole' VOATZ app in Utah County
- VOATZ is touting the amazing "first" of Utah County using their system first for the presidential election in 2020
- VOATZ touts security via biometrics. How we feeling about that Utah?- An article you may want to read about the security.
- How do we feel about it integrating with other "systems" seemlessly? What are all the systems that should be used here? How much does this all cost? How is this better than paper?
- "We leverage smartphone-based accessibility features to enable voters to submit their ballot from anywhere in the world." I'm sure nothing could go wrong with this, nothing at all. Do we want people voting from their phones from anywhere in the world? Is there not a chance of massive voter fraud when people do NOT come in person?
- This makes mass mail-in ballots look like the safest voting ever. We all know that's very far from true (2000 Mules anyone?)
- One possible positive is that it allows for "rirgorous" audits- however we must ask again how secure it is if it's connected to the internet?
We also hit on the VOATZ app in these blogs about utah County a bit-
Source from VOATZ "The Utah County mobile voting option will be offered in addition to the current absentee options (mail, fax, and email). For uniformed military and overseas citizens, jurisdictions are required by law to send the ballot to voters 45 days prior to the election, allowing sufficient time for the ballots to be returned and counted. Ballots sent to participating voters using the Voatz application will be received within minutes, rather than days or sometimes weeks, and can be returned to the jurisdiction the instant the voter submits their ballot. The ballots that the jurisdiction receives are formatted, printed, and tabulated per standard procedure, and contain an anonymous ID that can be used for a rigorous post-election audit.
To use the Voatz platform, eligible voters must submit an absentee ballot request to their election office indicating a preference for mobile voting, and then complete an authentication process on the Voatz application.
The pilot is a collaboration between Voatz, Utah County, Tusk Philanthropies, and the National Cybersecurity Center. To learn more, read the press releases from Tusk Philanthropies."
But just incase all that wasn't enough for you take a look below- this is from Deseret News. Source below
The below should say it all
"SALT LAKE CITY — Even as the tumult surrounding 2020 election processes and results continues, Utah lawmakers are looking ahead to potential new ways to help residents easily and securely engage their civic voting duties.
An interim legislative committee this week advanced a proposal from Rep. Mike Winder aiming to expand opportunities for Utah cities interested in testing new, internet-based systems that allow voters to cast their ballots via smartphone.
Utah County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers Gardner told members of the Government Operations Interim Committee that her county has been piloting just such a system, making it available to overseas voters, for the last two years with positive results.
“This bill would be a pilot project to allow a municipality or a city to opt in to allowing a broader base of their voters to utilize a mobile phone or an electronic means of casting their ballots,” Powers Gardner said. “Utah County has currently been utilizing this system for the past five elections ... and in this most recent election we had over 1,000 people utilize a system like this.”"
CODE RED ABOVE- THIS IS THE SAME LANGUAGE FOR THE RCV PILOT PROGRAM NIGHTMARE WE ARE DEALING WITH.