BOSTON and SALT LAKE CITY, April 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Voatz, the Boston-based mobile voting platform, today announced the successful completion of a first-of-its-kind virtual convention with the Utah Republican Party to narrow down key races in upcoming elections, including the race for governor and the 4th Congressional seat. 7,430 delegates were credentialed using the Voatz platform to participate across this year's state convention, and five local county conventions. In the state convention, the party witnessed a record-breaking 93% participation rate, voting via the Voatz app using smartphones. This election also reflects the largest use of ranked-choice voting in Utah's history.
Voatz was engaged to work with the state at the end of March. Building upon its extensive experience with election pilots and testing, Voatz worked closely with GOP officials for alignment and training to ensure a smooth rollout of the platform. The platform was also built in cooperation with disability rights advocates, including accommodations for the visually impaired. Those who did not use the Voatz app had access to voting through a help desk.
The elections, which opened on Thursday of last week, were completed just after midnight Saturday. To ensure the integrity of the election, the process will be audited by the National Cybersecurity Center with public participation from citizens. The results of the audit will be published in the public domain.
"We're proud to have partnered with the Utah GOP during this challenging time," says Voatz Co-Founder and CEO, Nimit Sawhney. "Voatz's mission has always been to expand access to voting for those who cannot physically show up at the polls. We live in an unprecedented moment. This pandemic has significantly increased the number of those who face a risk in going to the polls, and no one should have to choose between their health and exercising their civic voice. Our platform provides another option to stay safe and healthy. We're also proud to continue with our public citizen audits, where anyone can sign up to be an auditor of these elections. These are critical steps to continue demonstrating that auditing election results is both possible and necessary."
Derek Brown, Chairman of Utah Republican Party said, "The Voatz platform made possible the remote verification and voting processes for thousands of statewide delegates, allowing them to participate from the ease of their mobile phones. Using Voatz allowed us to digitally recreate our usual convention procedures, and implement technology in a way that made the process more convenient and secure. This experience was not only positive, but has opened our eyes to ways that we can operate in the future to ensure that more delegates are able to participate in the process. It has also helped us see new ways of integrating technology into our party's operations."
"I believe that, years from now, we will look back and see this moment, and our partnership with Voatz, as a turning point for our party," Brown said.
Voatz is an award-winning mobile elections platform that leverages cutting-edge technology (including biometrics and a blockchain-based infrastructure) to increase access and security in elections. Since 2016 Voatz has run more than 60 elections with cities, universities, towns, nonprofits, and both major state political parties for convention voting. Learn more here.
About the Utah Republican Party
The Utah Republican Party is by the people and for the people. We affirm the worth of all individuals and seek the best possible quality of life for all. Learn more here.