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Voting may one day be done through an app on your phone - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Voting may one day be done through an app on your phone

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Could the future leave voting machines and paper ballots in the past. Tech insiders say it's possible with blockchain.

"It is going to change the world but in ways we cannot possibly imagine," Peter Kay, founder of CyberCom said. 

Kay says imagine blockchain as a foundation where apps can be created and used, much like we use web pages on the internet.

All that would need to happen to make voting by phone possible is the right election application.    

"If you did an election on the blockchain, it would be amazing because there would be no such thing as a recount, voting results would be done immediately. In fact, you could offer if you want on a blockchain, you could offer voting results by the minute as the evening progressed," Kay said. 

Kay says in theory blockchain technology could change the way we live including how we vote.    

"Presumably it could work, you could use your phone and all phones have a thumbprint so you could bring up your voter app and so the app would come up and you would see an issue on your phone, you put in your thumb print to verify that it was you and then you would vote yes or no," Kay said. 

Industry experts seen in front of state lawmakers explained how blockchain technology could be used.

When it comes to a future elections app, some lawmakers say they believe it could help with Hawaii's longstanding problem of low voter turnout.

"Part of that I think could be fixed if we allowed people to vote on these and if you could do it in a secure way and make sure people aren't taking advantage then it's more convenient, it's easier to do and so I think we should take advantage of that and try to figure out a way to get more people engaged," Rep. Jarrett Keohokalole said. 

Others raise concerns with security.

"Given enough computer time and computer power. Eventually and I'm talking about our great friends, the Russians and the Koreans, I think they have the talent right and the time to figure out exactly who you voted for but they probably would go beyond that and change the information in the block and change your vote," Rep. Isaac Choy said. 

Friday's hearing at the capitol between tech experts and lawmakers was intended for discussion of the basics of blockchain.

Other topics brought up at the briefing included crypto-currency and potential regulation of it in Hawaii.
 

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