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City Clerk Launches Blockchain Election Cybersecurity Pilot Program

Picture of City Hall in the spring. Photo courtesy of the City of Montpelier website.
Montpelier City Clerk John Odum announced the implementation of an election cybersecurity pilot project to alert the city of any tampering with voter rolls and election data for the 2020 General Election.

The pilot demonstration — a technology provided by the SICPA Corporation, which provides election and other cybersecurity internationally — allows the City Clerk to take digital fingerprints of voter data and store them in a blockchain system to protect them from tampering. The Clerk can then see if those data have been compromised and can then revert to backups. As part of the project, Montpelier is storing the voter data used for Tuesday’s election in a secure remote location hosted by the Cyber Policy Initiative (CPI) of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago (where Odum serves on the Advisory Board).

“It’s so exciting that here in the smallest state capital in the nation, we can be on the cutting edge of voter security tech like this,” Odum commented. “Given the current challenges in election security and the concerns about meddling in the coming election, it is simply impossible to be too careful with our Democracy.”

In addition to the blockchain pilot, Montpelier is also participating in a CPI pilot that provides personal, one-on-one cybersecurity assistance locally from a professional cybersecurity expert.

Odum noted that, after a successful pilot demonstration, he is already in talks to pilot further and more comprehensive election cybersecurity technology for the Annual City Meeting in March.