Voatz, a mobile-focused voting and citizen engagement platform, announced today that it participated in the U.S. Census Bureau’s technology Demo Day. The company, which raised $7 million this past summer, demonstrated how the U.S. Census Bureau could learn from recent mobile voting pilots to increase accessibility for census input, while also enhancing identity and data security.
The demonstration was presented as an initiative that could facilitate the census beyond 2020, which marks the first year that the census will be conducted digitally.
Voatz was among 15 projects from companies, including Redfin and Visa, designed to support the upcoming census by creatively engaging hard-to-count populations, bridging the digital divide and helping to promote the 2020 census. The demo was part of a collaborative effort between government agencies, technology companies and nongovernment organizations called “The Opportunity Project” to translate open data into user-friendly tools that solve real-world problems.
“We’ve been honored to collaborate on the future of the U.S. Census, leveraging our recent pilot successes in the mobile voting space to devise possibilities for the future of increasing accessibility, securing identity and data entry for the Census. We’re looking forward to future collaborations as the U.S. Census Bureau continues to explore innovative measures for securing data and identity.”
– Voatz Co-Founder & CEO Nimit Sawhne
Voatz Platform: Successful Pilots
Voatz enables citizens to vote in many types of elections via a secured smartphone or tablet. Earlier this year, the company successfully conducted pilots with the City and County of Denver; Utah County, Utah; Pierce County, Washington; and Jackson and Umatilla counties in Oregon to expand absentee voting for deployed military personnel and overseas U.S. citizens during the 2019 municipal elections.
In 2018, Voatz conducted a successful pilot with 24 counties in West Virginia during the federal midterm elections where deployed military personnel and overseas U.S. citizens leveraged the platform to cast their ballots. This pilot represented the first time that mobile voting secured by a blockchain-based infrastructure had ever been used in a U.S. Federal Election.
The Voatz platform uses biometrics, encryption and blockchain technology to increase accessibility, security, and auditability in election systems. In addition to the pilot programs, Voatz has partnered with state political parties, universities, labor unions, church groups and nonprofits to administer elections using its platform.