Two days after May’s city elections, Denver’s Elections Division held a low-profile audit of key parts of America’s most radical new voting system.
Over several weeks, 119 residents who were overseas had been using their smartphones to identify themselves and mark and submit their ballots online via blockchains, an encryption and storage method. The voters would get an emailed receipt listing their ballot choices, and later a survey asking what they thought about smartphone voting.
Denver and its technology and philanthropic partners were not just showing how they served overseas voters. They were presenting an unprecedented digital evidence trail, as there had never been a similar open audit of ballot receipts, ballot images and voting data kept on blockchains. The city was showing how far smartphone voting had come—an internet system whose proponents envision millions of Americans eventually using, but one that critics maintain is inherently untrustworthy.